A poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, shows a tight race in Tuesday's special election for the congressional seat left open by the death of U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., as the contest is within the margin of error. The poll was commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters' Victory Fund, which is backing former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate in the race.
The poll of likely voters, released Monday, shows Sink leading with 48 percent followed by Republican David Jolly with 45 percent -- a result within the margin of error. Libertarian Lucas Overby takes 6 percent.
The poll finds Sink is routing Jolly with independent voters, with 61 percent of them backing her and only 27 percent backing the Republican. But both candidates have nailed down their bases, with 85 percent of voters who backed President Barack Obama in 2012 supporting Sink and 84 percent of those who favored Mitt Romney behind Jolly. Overby pulls from both sides, with 5 percent of Obama voters and 5 percent of Romney voters. Voters who backed other candidates go 45 percent for Jolly, 26 percent for Overby and 23 percent for Sink.
Three-fifths of those surveyed -- 60 percent -- have already voted while 37 percent say they plan to vote on Tuesday. Sink leads among these voters with 52 percent followed by Jolly with 45 percent and Overby with 3 percent. But Jolly leads among those planning to vote on Tuesday with 45 percent of them favoring the Republican, 41 percent supporting Sink, 10 percent saying they plan to vote for Overby and 4 percent remaining undecided.
Despite outside groups spending millions on attack ads, the poll shows both Sink and Jolly are still right-side-up with Pinellas County voters. Half -- 50 percent of them -- have a favorable view of Sink; 45 percent of them see her as unfavorable. Jollys numbers are in the same ballpark, with 48 percent of those surveyed seeing him in a favorable light and 45 percent see him as unfavorable.
The poll of 702 likely voters was taken March 7-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.