A new survey by St. Pete Polls shows U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan crushing Republican primary opponent Martin Hyde.
If a primary vote were held today in Florida, the eight-term incumbent would win more than 76% of the vote, with Hyde taking around 12% and the remainder of voters undecided.
The poll comes as Hyde has brought on some high-profile supporters from former President Donald Trump’s orbit but Buchanan secured the support of Trump himself. Buchanan, who is in position to take over the House Ways & Means Committee if Republicans win a majority this November also just wrapped a strong financial quarter and boasts $682,862 in cash on hand at the start of 2022, while Hyde holds around $39,054 after loaning his campaign $164,000.
While Democrats the last two election cycles put national backing behind opponents, Buchanan beat both David Shapiro in 2018 and Margaret Good in 2020. This cycle, Democrat Jan Schneider has filed and raised nominal amounts, but also holds much less cash, around $59,594.
Hyde intends to cut into Buchanan’s base over votes in favor of certifying President Joe Biden’s presidential victory over Trump and in favor of background checks on firearm purchases.
But a check on Buchanan’s favorability ratings shows it could take a lot to knock the incumbent from his perch. Close to 70% of Republicans in the district view Buchanan in a favorable light, while around 14% view him negatively, with the balance unsure. That notably means even around 6% of Republican votes who don’t have a good view of Buchanan still prefer him over Hyde.
The poll was taken on Monday and has a 4.4% margin of error. Respondents included 501 likely voters living in Florida’s 16th Congressional District.
Notably, the Legislature right now is in the process of redistricting but there are no major changes to Buchanan’s district on any of the draft maps now under consideration.