Poll shows Rebekah Jones within striking distance of Matt Gaetz

Jones Gaetz
A new poll shows the scandal-ridden Congressman's popularity plummetting.

Has a sex scandal hurt U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz enough that he could lose to Democrat Rebekah Jones? A Panhandle-based polling firm sees signs of vulnerability for the firebrand Republican, even in his deep red district.

New survey results from The Listener Group show Gaetz’s popularity slipping to its lowest point in two years. Just under 50% of likely voters in Florida’s 1st Congressional District still view Gaetz favorably, marking the first time he has dropped below 50% on the Pensacola polling outfit’s trendlines in the past two years.

Just over 30% view the incumbent unfavorably or very unfavorably.

His public standing appears to have taken a significant hit as a sex scandal persists in headlines. Joel Greenberg, a once close associate of Gaetz, is cooperating with federal investigators in Central Florida after pleading guilty to sex trafficking a minor. Reports indicate more prosecutors have joined the case as it explores other potential targets, most prominently Gaetz.

But pollsters say the big headline from their survey is that voters may strongly be considering a Democratic alternative. Jones, a former Florida Department of Health employee who gained national prominence after claiming she was fired from Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration for refusing to manipulate data, filed as a Democratic candidate in CD 1.

Pollsters found if the election were held today, about 34% of voters would vote for Jones, and fewer than 42% would vote for Gaetz. That puts the Democrat within 8 percentage points of unseating the three-term incumbent, with more than 24% of voters still undecided.

The poll included responses from 532 likely voters in the district reached between Oct. 8 and 28.

“When taking an overall look at this study, you will see that Gaetz is vulnerable in a seat where he was once thought of as unbeatable,” pollsters wrote in a press release.

An eight-point spread may still be a lot of ground to secure, especially for a Democrat and first-time candidate running in Pensacola. But pollsters say she actually holds a lead in two of the three counties within the district.

It’s a rule of thumb in politics that incumbents seeking reelection want to poll above 50%. For Gaetz, these latest numbers indicate remarkable vulnerability.

It should be noted the polling outfit this year has put out some of the most Democrat-friendly statewide polls of the 2022 election cycle. But The Listener Group in 2020 focused its polling efforts in the Panhandle, where Gaetz’s district sits. There, it accurately predicted the outcome of most races it surveyed.

Gaetz also faces other opposition. Phil Ehr, the Democratic nominee against Gaetz in 2020, hasn’t been fundraising as aggressively as Jones this cycle but still has a Federal Elections Commission account open and leads her in cash on hand.

Republicans Ralph Mills and Jeremy Kelly also have federal accounts, and Greg Merk has filed for the race with the state Division of Elections.

Jacob Ogles

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 [email protected].


  • abert m

    November 9, 2021 at 9:04 am

    You guys are joking right that moron has as much chance of beating gaetz as the three clowns running against desantis n that number is zero lol!!!

    • Ocean Joe

      November 9, 2021 at 9:33 am

      You’re right, nobody will beat Gaetz because he won’t be in the race then.
      Something about underage girls…I think.

      • zhombre

        November 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

        LOL. We’ll see about that. Don’t make any bets.

      • Andie

        November 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm


        • Andie

          November 9, 2021 at 4:43 pm

          Toss your hat in the ring because anyone running against Gaetz will win. Voting against him would make Minnie Mouse a better choice.

      • Florida Subshine

        November 14, 2021 at 12:12 am

        He will be re elected.

    • mynamedoesntmatter

      November 9, 2021 at 10:35 am

      if by moron you mean someone with advanced science degrees, then sure

      • Fran

        November 18, 2021 at 11:26 am

        Advance science degrees don’t give you common sense…
        Obviously, if you think Gaetz is even going to be able to run… you are sadly confused about his morals. Hope you don’t have kids.

        • Captain Howdy

          November 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

          Do YOU have any kids? Or were they all happy abortions? LOL!!!

    • Forward Thinked

      November 9, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      Hmmm. What does that say about voters in that part of Florida that they would prefer to vote for a sex offender than a Democrat?
      I guess it is true that Floridians have lost their moral compass.

      • zhombre

        November 9, 2021 at 12:44 pm

        What has Gaetz been convicted of in a court of law? What has he been charged with? I think pronouncing the man already guilty, without benefit of a trial or even an actual indictment, is a sign of a moral compass gone askew.

        • Stewart

          November 9, 2021 at 3:03 pm

          Uh, he’s guilty of doing a LOT of it – that’s a fact.
          Now…I do know the difference between actually doing something, getting CAUGHT doing something and being CONVICTED of doing something.
          That Gaetz is a drug-taking slime ball paying for women to have sex AND drugs with him is fact.
          But it’s likely the charges will be much more than that.
          If your “moral compass” is only based on those who don’t have big money and influence and therefore get convicted more often, I’d ask you to look again.
          From the sounds of it, you are fine with his actions – it’s only whether he pays for them in court that you think is relevant (you’d probably STILL vote for him).
          Why not just admit it? You are partisan to the point or corrupt to the point where you think his way is OK?

          • zhombre

            November 9, 2021 at 3:14 pm

            I didn’t say I was fine with his actions. You are presumptuous. I said I didn’t like Gaetz and whether I would vote for him is moot; I don’t live in his congressional district. You can assume he’s already guilty and he may well be but that is not proven. I don’t share your preternatural acuity in determining whether a man is guilty or not, Sherlock. To my knowledge, Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes let alone convicted. When that happens I will revise my opinion. Of Gaetz, but not of you.

          • JP

            November 9, 2021 at 11:29 pm

            “That Gaetz is a drug-taking slime ball paying for women to have sex AND drugs with him is fact.” Proof ? Or are you just another copycat Dem troll ?

        • marathon

          November 10, 2021 at 7:21 pm

          What has Hillary Clinton been convicted of in a court of law? What has she been charged with? I think pronouncing the woman already guilty, without benefit of a trial or even an actual indictment, is a sign of a moral compass gone askew.

          Wow…change the name *is* a fun game.

          Who shall we do next?

          • Zhombre

            November 10, 2021 at 7:38 pm

            Actually that is kind of dumb and irrelevant but if that game amuses you, well, enjoy 😉

    • EloiseF

      November 9, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Is English your second language? Must be, since you don’t seem to have the ability to write it correctly. Wonder who the “moron” really is!

      • Captain Howdy

        November 9, 2021 at 4:06 pm

        Probably your husband.

    • Jim J

      November 9, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Can you run for Congress from inside a jail cell?

      • Mitzie36

        November 9, 2021 at 3:50 pm

        If she wins, then we will found out.

    • Trish Johnson

      November 18, 2021 at 4:07 am

      It never fails to amaze me how delusional Floridians are about their disgusting choices of politicians namely DeathSantis and Racist Gaetz

      • Captain Howdy

        November 18, 2021 at 7:45 am

        So relocate your ass to Georgia, you foul bioch, where Stacy Abrams is governor.

        • Jim J

          November 18, 2021 at 8:37 am

          Stacy Abrams is not Governor of Georgia, at least not yet. I like your prediction.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 18, 2021 at 8:55 am

            Prediction in a pig’s eye, slick

  • Open your eyes

    November 9, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Clearly voters don’t know about Jones’ sex scandals and track record of being fired from just about every job she’s ever held. Morally and from a character standpoint, she’s ZERO% better than Gaetz.

    • Republicans for Rebekah

      November 9, 2021 at 10:07 am

      If you guys got nothin but lies and daily mail garbage, you really are going to lose big time.

      And you just compared sex trafficking teenagers to.. what? Her getting sexually assaulted and telling people about it? Y’all are so on brand.

      • Rebekah Needs To Stop Using Sockpuppets

        November 9, 2021 at 2:52 pm

        LMAO okay Rebekah.

      • Florida sunshine

        November 9, 2021 at 3:53 pm

        She’s charged with cyber stalking one of her students.

    • Forward Thinker

      November 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Really? I cannot find any credible reference to her sex scandal. Please provide a website indicating she has been investigated, charged or convicted of anything.

      • zhombre

        November 9, 2021 at 12:47 pm

        Oh, well. Extend the same rationale to Gaetz. Can you do that? Or is that a moral compass too far? And for the record, I don’t even like Gaetz, but he is entitled to due process. Same as Jones.

        • Florida top trump fan

          November 9, 2021 at 2:11 pm

          so you just made up a sex scandal to try to attack a woman because the guy who is running against her is ACTUALLY IN A SEX SCANDAL lol

        • Forward Thinker

          November 9, 2021 at 2:29 pm

          He is currently under investigation and a witness is providing credible information. You are right that we should wait until he is convicted. I can wait a month or two.

          • zhombre

            November 9, 2021 at 3:06 pm

            You wait a month or two. How magnanimous of you. How forward thinking and fair. You’re smarter, obviously, than the other people posting about Gaetz alleged sex scandal. But that is setting the bar low.

          • zhombre

            November 9, 2021 at 3:09 pm

            Btw here’s the wikipedia entry on Rebekah Jones. Pay special attention to the part dealing with her legal issues.

      • Allen

        November 9, 2021 at 3:19 pm

        Of course there isn’t anything – she was involved in some relationship troubles many years back. When DeSantis threw the entire power of the state of Florida against her – they hired a disinformation expert who specializes in the former Iron Curtain (really!) for Press Sec and they wrote all their OWN media smearing her- and then they point to that and say “see?”. I promise you this – unlike Ron, she wouldn’t have allowed tens of thousands of Floridians to die this summer. She wouldn’t have hired a Witch Doctor for Surgeon General. She wouldn’t pay people to take MMDA and Cocaine with her at nightly parties.

        • JP

          November 9, 2021 at 11:33 pm

          And I’d bet you voted for Gillum, right?

        • Geo Jones

          November 11, 2021 at 11:05 pm

          Here’s a copy/paste from her record at the Leon County court website. There are detailed records for each case. http://cvweb.leonclerk.com/public/online_services/search_courts/search_by_name.asp

          JONES, REBEKAH DANIELLE DEFENDANT 252335 1989 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF(OVER $200 UNDER $1000 DAMAGES) 10/17/2017 2847811 Closed 2017 MM 003464 A001
          JONES, REBEKAH DANIELLE DEFENDANT 252335 1989 TRESPASSING PROPERTY NOT STRUCTURE OR CONVEY 03/02/2018 2868273 Closed 2018 CF 000798 A002
          JONES, REBEKAH DANIELLE DEFENDANT 252335 1989 ROBBERY BY SUDDEN SNATCHING WO FIREARM OR WEAPON 03/02/2018 2868273 Closed 2018 CF 000798 A003
          JONES, REBEKAH DANIELLE DEFENDANT 252335 1989 STALKING 07/17/2019 2942031 Open 2019 MM 001894 A001
          JONES, REBEKAH DANIELLE DEFENDANT 252335 1989 STALKING FOLLOW HARASS CYBERSTALK ANOTHER 07/17/2019 2942031 Closed 2019 MM 001894 A003

      • Impeach Biden

        November 9, 2021 at 10:00 pm

        Do some reading. She has a child from that student. Do you think he got an “A”?

      • JP

        November 10, 2021 at 12:01 am

        “A police report obtained by Ocala Post from Tallahassee shows that Rebekah Jones, the woman who claimed she was fired from the DOH for refusing to falsify COVID-19 data, has an open criminal investigation for sexual cyberharassment and cyberstalking.
        The charges came after a man who previously had a restraining order against Jones said she created a revenge porn website and posted nude photos of him.” https://orlandodispatch.com/rebekah-jones-created-revenge-site-posted-nudes-of-a-man-desantis-speaks-out/

    • Allen

      November 9, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      That’s ridiculous – the DOJ isn’t investigating here for corruption from here to there – you are dredging up old history. Isn’t she married with two children? Matt? What are his family values? It’s as if you equate a traffic ticket with the FBI and DOJ having a long list of likely FELONIES against you. Fantastic. Matt will never change – it sure appears she has….that’s really fantastic. I can’t stop thinking about it – that people think crimes and corruption and sleaze at the very top is equal to the everyday stuff…

      • Impeach Biden

        November 10, 2021 at 4:41 pm

        You are correct she has two children. One from her husband and one from her FSU sex bud. You know the kid she gave an “A” to.

        • zhombre

          November 10, 2021 at 5:30 pm

          Well, why not? He earned that A with a lot of extra credit.

    • Joanna

      November 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm

      This is patently untrue so stop spreading lies about her. She is a scientist. She refused to lower the Covid numbers when ordered to do so. She has integrity, something Gaetz never heard of. She has no sex scandals and she hadn’t been fired from every job. If you have evidence to the contrary, then list that evidence. Her house was raided by police and she was arrested in front of her small children while police had drawn their guns for no reason whatsoever. She is bright and articulate and would be a wonderful congresswoman. I can’t vote for her because I don’t live in Florida. BUT …I can and will support her run for iffy e and she will wipe Gaetz off the map.
      Far too many misogynistic comments here. Very disturbing.

      • Florida sunshine

        November 9, 2021 at 4:31 pm

        She is not a scientist. She was never asked to lower the COVID numbers. She has already admitted to that. She has been fired from every job. Also, had been charged each time. Police had a warrant for her and she was told in advance. She chose to keep her kids there. During a search warrant they will initially until they know they are not in danger. You don’t know everything about her so it’s good news that you can’t vote for her. She currently has two open charges one being a felony.

        • Jim J

          November 9, 2021 at 4:58 pm

          She is certainly a scientist having received a dual master’s degree in geography and mass communication at Louisiana State University in 2014. In 2015, her research on “Quantifying Extreme Weather Event Impacts on the Northern Gulf Coast Using Landsat Imagery” was published in the Journal of Coastal Research. Rebekah has completed her course work for a doctorate from FSU and needs only to finish her dissertation to receive that degree.

          • Florida Subshine

            November 9, 2021 at 5:19 pm

            Jones herself has stated that she is not a scientist. She was forced to leave FSU because she had an affair with one of her students. Because of her unprofessional behavior that followed their break up, she had several charges filed against her. One of those charges for cyberstalking is still active. Her criminal record is free to view online.

          • Impeach Biden

            November 10, 2021 at 11:39 am

            So a Geographer is now a scientist? Interesting. I am a pilot so can I claim to be a test pilot or Thunderbird? She is a complete lunatic. Just read her history both in the state of Florida or Louisiana. She is not a stable person.

        • Jim J

          November 9, 2021 at 7:51 pm

          If as you purport, she has stated that she is not a scientist, then why does she repeatedly say that she is. I believe the denial of being a scientist to be your misunderstanding of something that you believe she said.

          • Florida Sunshine

            November 9, 2021 at 8:46 pm

            Jones Twitter post on 8/21/20 at 6:17 pm. She tweeted “ I’m not a data scientist, though. It’s a geographer who’s been a practicing epidemiologist for last eight months. “. She has been lying the last few months to get votes. She has been called out on it many times. Do your homework!

    • Trish Johnson

      November 18, 2021 at 4:08 am

      The dogs on the streets would be a better choice than Gaetz

  • tom palmer

    November 9, 2021 at 10:11 am

    The only poll that counts is the one on election day. Both candidates have some baggage. I can’t imagine the folks on the Redneck Riviera electing a Democrat.

    • conservative voter

      November 9, 2021 at 10:13 am

      jones doesn’t have ‘baggage’

      desantis smear campaign is nothin but lies and has been debunked 300000 times over

      she took on corruption with no money no connections no protection and she won

      that aint baggage. thats courage.

      im voting for her and im a republican. voted trump both times. we dont like gaetz. hes a pervert. comparing the two is crazy

      • Allen

        November 9, 2021 at 3:11 pm

        Of course, you are correct. Ron used the entire power of the State of Florida against one citizen who wanted to save Floridian lives. Ron, and it appears many Floridians, do not want to save Floridian lives.
        There is not 1 in 10,000 people with the bravery of Ms. Jones. How many in DOH and everywhere in FL Gov. see corruption and lack of caring EVERY DAY and yet say nothing? ALL OF THEM.

        • Forward Thinker

          November 9, 2021 at 6:15 pm

          Ron is a real killer of a Governor!

      • Geo Jones

        November 11, 2021 at 10:15 pm

        Debunked where? The only “debunking” I’ve ever seen is Rebekah claiming without that this or that isn’t true.

  • Mary Lou Bender

    November 9, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Y’all can just see evil in that man’s eyes. Him and desatan are the same

    I’m glad a strong and smart woman is taking him down

    florida is truly blessed to have Rebekah. she floridas guardian angel
    gave up everything to protect us
    thank you rebekah!

  • Charles

    November 9, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Jacob it is remarkable how you have searched to find and publish poll results from a decidedly small sampling performed by a left leaning polling entity.
    This is why media is one of the most distrusted and despicable professions.

    • Trump 2024

      November 9, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      If she’s good enough for President Trump, then she’s good enough for me! Funny that matt gaetz tries so hard to get trumps approval when trumps admin went on tv for DAYS praising jones and she didn’t even have to try. got his endorsement without even asking, while gaetz pathetically begged and was shut down.

    • Allen

      November 9, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      It’s amazing how the standard changes – obviously we are not yet in the major race where money is being spent for multiple polls. Still, this is an indication.
      Why would ANYONE think voters like a non-caring and corrupt sleaze bag? Well, I guess it’s Florida, but still, You know what is said about MG? Meet him and in 5 minutes you know everything about him.
      No decent person could cast a vote for him. I mean that. He’s inhuman. I know the standards in politics are low, but he is way beneath any of that.
      You can see Ms. Jones actually cares about the district and about people – but, hey, if you’d rather billionaires rich kids spoiled and corrupt brats run the country, make you vote for MG.

  • Forward Thinker

    November 9, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Trump does not like people competing with him for any sex related stuff.

  • Florida Sunshine

    November 9, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Jones criminal record is very easy to find online. Gaetz doesn’t have one. She’s been charged after every job she’s had. She’s a grifter.

    • Jim J

      November 9, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      If Jones was a convicted felon, she likely wouldn’t be able to vote or run for office. On the other hand, it’s very possible that Gaetz will soon be indicted on a federal charge of violating US Code 2423 (transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes).

      • Florida Subshine

        November 9, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        Jones felony charge is still open. She also has a cyber stalking charge still open.

        • Forward Thinker

          November 9, 2021 at 7:54 pm

          Pretty old charge without any update or action. Is the charge even still active. My guess it has been dropped like others laid by her exboyfreind.

          • Florida sunshine

            November 9, 2021 at 8:49 pm

            As I’ve already stated she still has two criminal charges open and active. One is cyber stalking and the others is the felony charge. You can see all this online.

          • Impeach Biden

            November 10, 2021 at 12:31 pm

            Boyfriend? You mean her college boy toy that produced a “love child” for her. She did the fatal attraction thing on the poor kid with the cyber stalking and pictures. He wanted to be far away from that crazy beotch. By the way my guess is he got an “A” in her class.

  • Jim J

    November 9, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    What is the felony charge? Please elaborate.

  • Florida Subshine

    November 10, 2021 at 12:02 am

    I can’t post links in here. I’ve tried. Google- Rebekah Jones felony charge and you will see plenty of sources. They arrest was Jan 2021.

  • kenneth

    November 10, 2021 at 11:19 am

    I would vote for an Ax murderer before I would vote for a Democrat.

    The following companies, professional sports support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Do your part. Patriots, pass this text along….

    *Designates active participant in Biden campaign & BLM.

    American Airlines
    American Express
    Bank of America
    Baskin Robbins
    Best Buy
    Carl’s Jr.
    *Capital One
    Corona Beer
    Dell Technologies
    Delta Airlines
    Discovery channel
    Discovery Plus
    Dunkin Donuts
    Ford Motor Co.
    General Motors
    *Goldman Sachs
    Jack in the Box
    Johnson & Johnson
    Levi Strauss & Co
    Little Caesars
    *Lowes Hardware
    *Modello Beer
    Nerd Wallet
    Pacifico Beer
    Rocket Mortgage
    *State Farm Insurance
    *Target Stores
    The General Insurance
    United Airlines
    US Bank
    USA today
    *Varo Bank
    Wells Fargo

    • Gail

      November 10, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      Great post! Posted to numerous FB sites lol.

  • Jim J

    November 10, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    That’s quite an extensive list. I think that those following your suggested boycott are left only with Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby and My Pillow as places to eat or shop.
    You said “I would vote for an Ax murderer before I would vote for a Democrat.”
    I consider myself a loyal Democrat and have served on my county’s Democratic Executive Committee. There have been times however when a Republican candidate is the better of the two people on the ballot and I have voted for the Republican. None of these Democrats were ax murderers but they either lacked the integrity or the intelligence to perform well in the positions that they were asking me to select them for. Perhaps you need to open your eyes and see that there is more to politics than supporting someone just because he or she wears a party’s label.

    • Gail

      November 10, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      I think your eyes are closed. Dems who voted for Biden have blood on their hands, not the stooge. Btw lots of alternatives to those isted.

      • Jim J

        November 12, 2021 at 12:58 am

        “Dems who voted for Biden have blood on their hands”? When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is Trump and his stooges who have blood on their hands. Dr. Deborah Birks, who was on Trump’s COVID Task Force, estimates that in the spring and summer of 2020, over 100,000 lives could have been saved had Trump not played politics with the situation.

Comments are closed.


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