Internal poll shows Democrat Alan Cohn within margin of error with Republican Laurel Lee in CD 15


A poll of Florida’s 15th Congressional District shows Republican Laurel Lee with a small lead over Democrat Alan Cohn.

Survey results from GQR, a Washington-based research firm, show 47% of voters right now favor Lee, while 44% prefer Cohn. That’s a difference within the poll’s 4.9% margin of error.

Moreover, the poll found a number of issues where voters may align with the Democratic candidate, according to a polling memo. Pollsters found 61% of voters in the district favor abortion rights, for example, including 79% of non-party-affiliated voters.

“As we have seen in other swing districts, Republicans are highly vulnerable on the issue of choice, and Florida’s 15th district is no different,” the memo states.

Pollsters reached respondents by landline and cell phone — the latter making up 61% of the calls — from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29. That covered the week immediately after the two candidates each won high-profile party primaries within the district.

Cohn’s campaign commissioned the poll, and while it provided no favorability numbers, it did say the former broadcaster’s backstory was embraced by voters.

“Cohn’s record of spending three decades as a journalist fighting corruption and holding those in power accountable, including taking on a corporation making defective equipment for our troops, getting justice for Vietnam vets left behind by our government, and exposing corrupt politicians, resonates with voters in this district,” according to the memo.

The memo also makes note of recent book closings that show CD 15 with the smallest gap between Republicans and Democrats in the state.

“New voter registration numbers show just how close this race could be. Republicans only have a 1,679-voter advantage over Democrats,” the polling memo reads. “Properly funded, Cohn can provide a badly needed win in the home state of Trump and DeSantis.”

The district, widely considered the new seat awarded to Florida following the 2020 Census, turned out to be one of the most closely divided on a map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. About 51% of voters under the new lines supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, while 48% voted for Democrat Joe Biden.

For the moment, Lee holds a substantial fundraising edge. Pre-primary reports filed with the Federal Election Commission showed she had raised more than $660,000 for the campaign through Aug. 3, and still had $210,762 in cash on hand. Cohn, in contrast, raised more than $178,000 and had $131,199 still in the bank.

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