Nearly 30% of Democratic voters undecided in race to replace Alcee Hastings
Image via AP.

There are now just 3 months to go until the Primary Election.

A survey of likely Democratic voters shows 29% are still unsure who they’ll vote for in the Nov. 2 Special Primary Election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings in Florida’s 20th Congressional District.

While undecideds make up the largest chunk of Democratic voters at 29%, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness has the next-highest share of support at 17%. He’s followed by fellow Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief at 14% and state Rep. Omari Hardy at 10%.

Hardy, who represents parts of Palm Beach County in the state House, got a boost with 23% support from Palm Beach County voters. That’s the highest share of any candidate, though it’s less than the 40% of Palm Beach voters who are undecided. Holness and Sharief, unsurprisingly, largely pull their support from Broward County.

CD 20 stretches from Broward to Palm Beach County. It encompasses many majority-Black areas near major cities such as Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The remainder of candidates polled include state Sen. Perry Thurston at 8%, Trinity Health Care Services CEO Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and former Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor at 6%, state Rep. Bobby DuBose at 5%, and Matt Boswell and Emmanuel Morel at essentially 0%.

The final 5% said they’d be supporting another Democratic candidate not listed in the survey. Natalia Allen, Elvin Dowling, Phil Jackson, Marlon Onias, Imran Siddiqui and Pradel Vilme have also filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the Democratic nomination.

The results, first reported by POLITICO, are good news for the top three candidates, though the results come with plenty of caveats. The organization backing the poll, Data for Progress, is a left-leaning group who zeroed in on Hardy’s result, stating in the polling memo Hardy “has a path specifically through progressive consolidation along with his ability to win large percentages in Palm Beach County while staying competitive in Broward.”

The survey, which sampled 314 likely Primary Election voters, also carries with it a margin of error of 5 percentage points. With that applied to each candidate’s results, the candidates’ true respective rankings could be swapped significantly.

Nevertheless, Hardy’s team is pushing the results after he posted middling fundraising numbers in the second quarter.

“This poll confirms that the proven, dynamic, progressive lane is the winning lane,” said Kevin Cate, who works as Hardy’s media consultant.

“Hardy is dominating Palm Beach County and our field program is already making a huge difference in Broward, outperforming aggressive internal goals. This is a clear, data-driven picture of a winning Primary campaign.”

Holness was last quarter’s cash leader and secured the highest share of support in the Data for Progress poll. Sharief’s fundraising numbers were more mixed, but she’ll clearly be a contender among Broward county voters.

Monday marks three months until the Nov. 2 Primary Election takes place. While the seat will ultimately be filled in the Jan. 11 Special General Election, the Democratic nominee will be heavily favored in the left-leaning district.

That makes the Democratic Primary Election the race’s real show. But the Data for Progress survey shows there’s still plenty of time for that race to play out.

Hastings passed away in early April after a cancer battle, prompting the Governor to schedule the Special and General Election to replace Hastings. Several of the elected officials vying for the CD 20 seat resigned from their current posts last week because of Florida’s resign-to-run law.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • zhombre

    August 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Why don’t they write in Alcee Hastings? Didn’t bother voters in that district before that he was an impeached judge who took bribes. Why should Hastings being dead make any difference? His surviving relativesd or lawyer for his estate can handle any administrative and legislative matters. With a ouija board perhaps. No more ludicrous than electing him before.

  • martin

    August 2, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Low IQ voters will always elect an equally low IQ representative.

    • tjb

      August 3, 2021 at 1:56 pm

      Saw that in Matt Gaetz election.

      • zhombre

        August 3, 2021 at 4:01 pm

        I see that in whoever you vote for.

Comments are closed.


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