Donald Trump-aligned pollster shows Tom Leek with healthy lead in SD 7 Primary
Tom Leek gets a big thumbs-up from Ron DeSantis.

McLaughlin & Associates finds Leek with a 19-percentage-point lead over David Shoar.

A new poll shows Republican Senate candidate Tom Leek with a “significant lead” in the Senate District 7 GOP Primary.

A survey from McLaughlin & Associates shows about 39% of likely Republican Primary voters in the district favor Leek, a Representative running for the open Senate seat. That compares to 20% who prefer former St. Johns Sheriff David Shoar.

Leek “clearly has the momentum to win the primary election,” writes pollster Jim McLaughlin.

The firm finds 9% of voters want Gerry James, a former professional wrestler who challenged outgoing Sen. Travis Hutson for the same seat in 2022.

That leaves a full 31% of voters in the race undecided. The Republican nomination will be decided in an Aug. 20 Primary.

The Republican polling firm boasts connections to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Pollsters surveyed 300 likely Primary voters between June 27 and 30. While the poll reports a sizable 5.7-percentage-point margin of error, Leek’s 19-point lead still falls well outside of that.

The poll also found that Leek has stronger favorability ratings than Shoar. The state lawmaker has a 42% positive rating, while Shoar has a 34% rating. Pollsters say Leek’s favorability actually exceeds Hutson’s by 14 percentage points.

Pollsters also found 84% of voters have recently read or heard about Leek. Among this more in-tune set of voters, Leek has a stronger lead over Shoar of 46% to 22%.

Notably, the memo notes this is the second public poll showing Leek with a lead. It frequently references a Cygnal poll in mid-June.

“In spite of the negative attacks from the Shoar campaign and the liberal special interests supporting Shore (sic), Tom Leek has not only increased his ballot share, but Leek has grown his favorable rating from 36% in mid-June in the Cygnal poll, to 42% by the end of June for a net increase of 6-points,” McLaughlin writes.

He concludes that negative ads from a trial lawyer-linked political committee have likely backfired and increased Leek’s profile.

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].


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  • Ed Slavin

    July 17, 2024 at 8:50 am

    David Shoar served his community for almost two decades and helped everyone that he possibly could in the community. I don’t know why Leek would have such a lead. Sad. Sad that Florida politics is what it is today. Vote for David Shoar. He’s a good man.

  • George Styles

    July 17, 2024 at 8:59 am

    Ben Albritton called for Shoar to drop out so that Leek could run less opposed. Who does he think he is. That’s un-American and we see what comes out of people who want a one party state and national authoritarianism. It’s laughable how Albritton said that they want to move the country forward in unity while the try to discourage people from running for office. Leek and his team are entitlement junkies and and un-American.

Comments are closed.


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