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.