Less than a month and a half before the Primary Election, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book holds a solid advantage over her lone Primary opponent in Senate District 35, according to internal polling figures her campaign shared Monday.
The poll, conducted by phone from June 29 to July 1 by SEA Polling & Strategic Design, finds Book enjoying a 14-percentage-point edge in support over former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief.
Prior to learning anything more about the two politicians, 39% of likely voters said they would cast ballots for Book if the election were held today, compared to 25% who favored Sharief.
Thirty-six percent of respondents to the poll, which involved 400 respondents and had a 4.9-percentage-point margin of error, were undecided.
Book scored even higher numbers with Democratic voters, with whom she held a 17-point lead. Among “Primary super voters” who participated in the last three Primary elections, she held a 47% to 25% lead over Sharief.
Those figures shifted even further in Book’s favor after pollsters read respondents positive biographical information about the two candidates. SEA President Tom Eldon said doing that helps “jog the memories” of voters.
“It’s so they can make a more informed decision, and you often see high numbers of undecided voters drop considerably (afterward),” he told Florida Politics. “In most cases, you’re just reminding voters who these people are. This helps a lot in Broward County, where there are a lot of politicians running for office all the time, especially on the Democratic side, and voters don’t know all of them.”
Once they were read the candidates’ biographical information, respondents’ support for Book shot up to 56%, while Sharief’s backing fell to 20%. The balance of voters polled remained undecided.
In his summary of SEA’s findings, Eldon wrote that it’s do-or-die time for Sharief, a longtime local politician who is the first person to challenge Book in an election since Book entered the legislative arena in 2016.
“Carrying such strong leads with those almost certain to vote and those likeliest to vote in this open Primary, Book is in prime position to secure re-election this August,” he wrote. “With almost half of the respondents reporting having seen or received campaign communications, the time is now for either Sharief to close the gap; or more likely given the data, Book make her closing run at 50% and victory.”
Post-redistricting, SD 35 covers a portion of Broward south of Interstate 595 and west of Florida’s Turnpike composed primarily of Pembroke Pines and Miramar, with parts of Cooper City, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise and Weston.
Sharief, a former Miramar City Commissioner who made history in 2013 as Broward’s first Black female Mayor, announced plans in March to run for SD 35. Book moved to SD 35 to avoid a Primary battle after redistricting put her in the same district as fellow Democratic Sen. Rosalind Osgood.
The Primary Election is on Aug. 23.