Anna Paulina Luna maintains a lead in the fight for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. But the race has tightened, with Kevin Hayslett close behind and days to go before Aug. 23.
In fact, the latest survey results from St. Pete Polls found Hayslett with a larger ballot share among those who already voted as of Aug. 15.
The poll, conducted for Florida Politics, found 37% of likely Republican Primary voters support Luna, the 2020 nominee against Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. Hayslett comes in close behind with almost 34% of the vote. That puts the two Republicans within the 4.7 percentage point margin of error.
Behind both, Amanda Makki, another campaign fixture in CD 13, registers with a little more than 14% support. Further behind, Moneer Kheireddine shows up with just over 3% and Christine Quinn with just under 3%.
Where things look especially interesting is when voters who already cast ballots get sliced out of the results.
As of Aug. 15, more than 38% of those polled said they had already voted in the Republican Primary. Of those, more than 39% said they had voted for Hayslett. Comparatively, just over 37% had gone for Luna.
Makki carried less than 12%. Kheireddine polled at almost 7%, better than among all likely voters but still a distance back from the front-runners. Almost 3% said they had voted for Quinn, and more than 2% would not say.
For the remaining respondents who intend to vote but have yet to do so, almost 36% plan to bubble next to Luna’s name, compared to 31% who intend to support Hayslett. That should be enough to elevate Luna to the top of standings in the Primary, so long as the results hold true and nobody changes their minds.
The results confirm what voters in the district likely know from picking up their mail. The contest has largely become a battle between Luna, a military veteran supported by the America First wing of the party, and Hayslett, a prominent lawyer and a favorite of some already serving political leaders in the region.
A close look at the crosstabs shows Makki could be cutting into some natural constituency for Luna. Among both men and women, Luna maintains a lead, but where 37% of male voters favor her to Hayslett’s near 36% and Makki’s almost 12%, women voters are more divided. Less than 36% do list Luna as a top choice, while 33% like Hayslett, and 17% go for Makki.
Of note, this Primary differs substantially from two years ago in that the Republican nominee looks toward November as a favorite in the General Election. A new congressional map shifts CD 13 westward and remakes it from a seat Democrat Joe Biden won in 2020 by 4 percentage points to one Republican Donald Trump carried by almost 7 points.