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2020

Charlie Crist grows lead to +17 over Anna Paulina Luna in CD 13

An August poll showed Crist leading by 16 points.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is up 17 points over his Republican challenger, Anna Paulina Luna, according to a new survey from St. Pete Polls released Thursday.

The survey, taken Wednesday among 1,280 likely voters in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, shows Crist with 55% of the vote to Luna’s 39%.

That’s a one-point improvement from a previous poll in late August that found the Democratic incumbent leading by 16 points. Only 7% of voters indicated they were undecided or chose not to say who they supported.

Christ defeated 2018 Republican nominee George Buck by a 16 point margin.

His lead is 6 points higher than former Vice President Joe Biden’s over President Donald Trump in the district, another positive sign for Crist as he exceeds even the Democratic presidential challenger’s over-performance in the district, which favors Democrats but not overwhelmingly.

Crist’s massive advantage is buoyed by sizable lead among independent voters, 58% to 34%, and through cross-over voter appeal with Republicans. More than 21% of registered Republicans polled said they would vote for the Democrat while just 11% of Democrats planed to vote for Luna.

Crist leads among every racial demographic, with his narrowest lead among White voters at 50% to 43%. Black voters favor Crist by an overwhelming 85% to 9% while Hispanic voters back the Democrat 72% to 24%.

Crist also leads among every age demographic, with his largest lead among young voters at 59% to 33%. Luna is closest among seniors 70 and older, trailing 50% to 43%. That’s the only demographic, including race, gender and age, in which Crist is carrying less than 50% support at 49.8%.

Crist’s lead is particularly remarkable in a district where Democrats hold just a 5 point voter registration advantage. Of the district’s 524,400 voters, 199,240 are Democrats and 174,876 are Republicans.

Luna is a Trump acolyte who surged in August to win the Republican Primary against Amanda Makki, who many observers regarded as a more moderate — and therefore electable — candidate.

Luna ran on a platform mostly shared among conservative candidates nationwide, painting Crist as a socialist-aligned Democrat who must be taken down at all costs.

That platform may have been the right message in a GOP primary, but it’s unclear how Luna can beat the as-popular-as-ever Crist, especially with polls show her losing ground since late August.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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