Internal poll shows Jerry Torres crushing Kathy Castor. Is it an outlier or deep red wave?
The race between Jerry Torres and Kathy Castor gets litigious.

Castor Torres SBS
If the results can be trusted, things could be much worse for Democrats than imaginable.

An internal poll from Republican Jerry Torres’ campaign shows him with a lead over Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.

The campaign released no crosstabs on the poll, which also shows Torres leading the GOP field for the Republican nomination. But the survey findings show voters in Florida’s 14th Congressional District favor the first-time candidate over the eight-term incumbent 66% to 14%.

If those results are to be trusted, they signal Democrats need to worry about incumbents even in districts where President Joe Biden performed extremely well.

“Voters see that I am the right choice in this race to unseat Rep. Castor and put a stop to the Biden administration’s failed policies,” Torres said. “I am proud to have their trust and look forward to flipping FL-14 from blue to red.”

The poll results from Point Blank Political show Torres leading in the GOP Primary, with 21% of voters supporting him, 14% backing James Judge and 4% supporting Sam Nashagh. That shows more than 60% of the electorate still on the fence over which Republican should face Castor, but Torres holding a lead weeks ahead of the Aug. 23 vote to select a Republican nominee.

The fact Torres leads Castor in a hypothetical General Election matchup seems to signal an anti-Democratic wave on the horizon of enormous scale.

Castor in 2020 defeated Republican Christine Quinn with more than 60% of the vote. But a new map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis puts Castor in a district that leans more Democratic, while leaving every other Tampa Bay seat leaning Republican. About 58.8% of voters CD 14 under the new lines voted for Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election and just 39.72% backed Republican Donald Trump, whereas Biden won the old configuration of the district by 16 percentage points.

Officials with the campaign also suggest the results may reveal why the Florida Democratic Party and other plaintiffs have sued trying to get Torres kicked off the ballot over issues with notary signatures on his paperwork with the Division of Elections. A case was set to go to trial this week and determine if Torres remained, but the 1st District Court of Appeal this week granted a stay and paused the case.

But the campaign didn’t release much information about the poll itself, revealing only that the survey was taken on July 17 and reached voters via text message. It’s unclear how pollsters determined a sample of voters, how many voters were polled, whether the results were based on just likely Primary voters or all registered voters. Pollsters also did not disclose any modeling and indicate the partisan breakdown of who participated in the poll.

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].

One comment

  • Steven m CHESS

    July 21, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    A level playing field for a (First-time Candidate) and an equal opportunity are all I request from you and the Tribune Group as I was informed that I am a former employee of your company. Please spell my name correctly and address me as Dr. Steve Chess or Dr. Steve. Unlike Dr. Jill Biden, I am a health care professional, not a Dr. of social science or some other field. If she were a physician, she would be charged with elder abuse by allowing her husband to continue as P.O.T.U.S. Shame on her and his family. It saddens me.
    Thank you for being so understanding.
    Warmest Regards,
    Dr.Steven Chess

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