Poll: Laurel Lee opens up massive lead in CD 15 GOP Primary


Her lead over Kelli Stargel and Jackie Toledo falls well outside the margin of error.

Laurel Lee holds a massive lead among Republicans running in Florida’s 15th Congressional District, a St. Pete Polls survey shows.

The former Florida Secretary of State boasts support from almost 44% of likely Republican Primary voters in CD 15. Her closest competitor, state Sen. Kelli Stargel, sits at 16% support, while 11% of respondents expect to vote for state Rep. Jackie Toledo. Meanwhile, another 5% plan to vote for Kevin “Mac” McGovern and 5% for Demetries Grimes. The remaining 20% of haven’t made a decision yet.

Lee, who left her job in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to run, quickly set herself apart in fundraising and seems to be successfully translating that into performance at the polls.

The St. Pete Polls survey found nearly 23% of likely GOP voters already voted in the CD 15 race. Among those who already sent in their mail-in ballots, Lee’s lead is more pronounced. More than 58% of those who already voted said they bubbled the ballot for Lee. Comparatively, 13% voted Stargel and 7% picked McGovern, with Toledo and Grimes each pulling in 5%.

Lee holds the strongest support in the GOP field among men and women. About 48% of women support Lee, compared to 42% of men. All the female candidates in the race performed better with women voters, with Stargel winning 17% among females surveyed and Toledo showing up with 12%.

Of note, both Stargel and Toledo outperformed Lee among voters under 30, with both boasting about 29% support among this youngest group of voters compared to Lee’s 14%. That group was also the most likely to have already turned in their ballot.

But Lee wins more than 48% of the vote of those ages 30 to 49. That’s the group of voters most likely to plan to vote in the race. Only about 13% of those voters intend to support Stargel while Toledo sits under 7%.

St. Pete Polls conducted the survey for Florida Politics on Aug. 1. Pollsters used a random sample of registered voters living within the newly drawn CD 15. The open congressional seat in Central Florida attracted 10 candidates, five of them Republicans, to qualify to run in the swing seat.

The poll included responses from 275 voters and pollsters report a 5.9 percentage point margin of error. Results were weighted by race, age and gender to reflect the likely voting electorate.

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