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2020/2022

Florida Influencer Poll: Insiders expect little shake-up to Florida Senate

Florida Politics asked observers to predict outcomes in SD 3, 9 and 39.

Sunshine State political watchers expect the Grand Old Party will keep control of the Florida Senate in November.

Florida Politics’ poll of Influencers expects Wilton Simpson to take the gavel this Fall. The majority believe Republicans will hold on to battleground seats in Senate Districts 9 and 39. But most also anticipate Democrats will keep an open seat in the Big Bend blue.

It should be noted that of the Influencers who responded to the poll query about Nov. 3 election results, about 62% were Republicans, compared to 33% Democrats and 5% without any party affiliation. But there seemed broad agreement the Senate makeup would look pretty similar next session to how it looks now.

Asked who will win Senate District 3, represented now by term-limited Bill Montford, a resounding 81% expect Rep. Loranne Ausley, a Tallahassee Democrat, will move into the upper chamber. Just 18% predict Republican Marva Preston will be able to flip the seat Red.

Even 75% of Republicans expect Ausley to win the seat. Meanwhile, 94% of Democrats and all the independents see SD 3 staying blue.

The contests in SD 9 and 39 divided Influencers a good bit more.

When it comes to who succeeds David Simmons in SD 9, about 61% of Influencers predict Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur will move into Senate offices soon. About 70% of Republicans feel confident about holding onto the seat, but 46% of Democrats and 43% of independents also see Brodeur pulling the win.

However, 39% see Patricia Sigman flipping the seat to Democratic control, including a majority of all non-Republicans. About 54% of Democrats and 57% of independents predict Sigman wins.

Most divisive were predictions on who follows Anitere Flores into the SD 39 seat. About 64% of Influencers see Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez will keep this Senate seat in GOP hands. But that’s based on the confidence of the 77% of Republican Influencers with faith in her winning.

The 35% of who see Rep. Javier Fernandez taking the district into the Democratic caucus includes 63% of Democratic Influencers.

But for the NPAs with no stake in the outcome, all of them see Rodriguez winning the seat.

While the consensus on all three of these battleground seats seems to be that none will change hands, there’s a range of predictions of the actual makeup of the Senate.

Just 14% of all Influencers believe Republicans will lose control of the chamber, including one Democratic Influencer who predicts a 20-20 Senate in November.

“With a big enough wave, the Democrats could achieve parity in the Florida Senate, which would fundamentally change how Tallahassee works,” one Influencer said.

But the bulk of Influencers see a GOP Senate.

“Again, the edge goes to the Repubs because of their campaign management and microtargeting and overall turnout,” one Influencer explained.

A plurality, 36%, of Influencers, including 41% of Republicans imagine Republicans starting Session with 22 seats, one fewer than they control now. About 19% of Influencers, including 31% of Democrats, predict the Senate will end up with 21 Republicans, one shy of perfect parity.

Another 18% expect 23 GOP seats, or no change in makeup. Another 12% can envision an increase in Republican caucus numbers.

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The Influencers who took part in this survey: Tom Alte, Phil Ammann, Roger Austin, Geoffrey Becker, Wayne Bertsch, Amanda Bevis, Alexandria Bickley, Taylor Biehl, Barney Bishop III, Samantha Blair, Katie Bohnett, Ron Book, Lydia Claire Brooks, Reggie Cardozo, James Chan, Brad Coker, Rachel Cone, Kevin Craig, Husein Cumber, Jim Daughton, Claudia Davant, Juan Del Cerro, Nelson Diaz Pablo Diaz, Andrew Dolberg, Charles Dudley, Ryan Duffy, Pete Dunbar, Barry Edwards, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Mark Ferrulo, Damien Filer, Marty Fiorentino, Matt Florell, Shawn Foster, Towson Fraser, Fred Karlinsky, Don Gaetz, Steve Geller, Pamela Goodman, Jennifer Green, Marion Hammer, Abel Harding, Jeff Hartley, Cynthia Henderson, Brad Herold, Madeline Holzmann, Jim Horne, Haleigh Hutchison, Yolanda Jackson, Nick Janovsky, Eric Johnson, Christina Johnson, Stafford Jones, Todd Josko, Eric Jotkoff, Micah Ketchel, Colin Kirkland, Jeff Kottkamp, Jackie Lee, Beth Lerner, Mckinley Lewis, Karis Lockhart, John Lux, Jesse, Manzano, Tracy Mayernick, Frank Mayernick, Clarence McKee, Kathy Mears, Ed Moore, Tim Nungesser, Sal Nuzzo, Meredith O’Rourke, Rick Oppenheim, Alex Patton, Anthony Pedicini, Juan Penalosa, Sean Phillippi, Ron Pierce, Cissy Proctor, Bert Ralston, Foyt Ralston, David Ramba, Emmett Reed, Marc Reichelderfer, Darren Richards, Sydney Ridley, Jim Rimes, Evan Ross, Scott Ross, Evan Ross, Ashley Ross, Preston Rudie, Elnatan Rudolph, Ron Sachs, Meagan Salisbury, Jack Seiler, Dave Shepp, Stephen Shiver, Steve Simeonidis, Alex Sink, Patrick Slevin, John Stemberger, Herbie Thiele, Cory Tilley, Kyle Ulrich, Steven Vancore, Claire VanSusteren, Ashley Walker, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Christian Weiss, Doug Wheeler, Susie Wiles, Gregory Wilson, Christian Ziegler.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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