A new poll shows a Republican Primary in Florida’s 7th Congressional District remains tight. But St. Pete Polls found that among those who already cast ballots, Cory Mills continues to grow his lead.
The survey, conducted for Florida Politics, shows Mills leading an eight-candidate pack with almost 24%, while closest competitor Anthony Sabatini sits at just over 22%. Brady Duke comes in third at under 16%.
All other candidates remain in single digits, with Rusty Roberts nearing 7%, Erika Benfield at 5%, Ted Edwards at just under 5%, Scott Sturgill around 3% and Al Santos barely over 2%.
Pollsters surveyed 277 likely Republican voters on Aug. 17 and report a 5.9 percentage point margin of error.
The results don’t differ greatly from results garnered earlier this month. But what has changed significantly is how many voters have locked in their thoughts on the race by casting a Republican Primary ballot already. That has climbed from just over 20% of voters on Aug. 5 to more than 34% when the latest poll was taken.
And among those who already delivered their votes, results look substantially different. Mills won more than 27% of the ballot share, and Duke came in second with over 23% of the vote. Sabatini sits at 18%.
There may be a greater aversion among Sabatini voters about voting by mail or through early voting, the poll suggests. Almost 26% of those who plan to vote later prefer Sabatini over all other choices.
Sabatini continues to perform stronger among women, where Mills holds less than a 1-point lead, than among men, where Mills leads 22% to 19%.
But across gender and age, the order of candidate preference remains highly consistent with Mills on top, Sabatini behind him and Duke in third.
The Republican nomination for the seat will be determined in a GOP vote on Aug. 23. The winner heads into a General Election for the open seat as the favorite, as a new congressional map shifts the district from one that went for Democrat Joe Biden in 2020 to one where Republican Donald Trump came out ahead.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy represents CD 7 today but is not seeking re-election.