Latest poll in CD 13 GOP race shows David Jolly up by 11% over Kathleen Peters

  • David Jolly

With just two weeks before the January 14 GOP primary in Pinellas County's Congressional District 13 race, David Jolly is gaining momentum against Kathleen Peters, according to a new poll.

St. Pete Polls latest survey shows Jolly at 39.4 percent, Peters at 27.7 percent, and retired Marine brigadier general Mark Bircher at 17.7 percent. 15 percent of those surveyed remain undecided. The poll was commissioned by blogger Peter Schorsch.

This survey raises the stakes for Peters going into Thursday night's debate in Pinellas Park, where the three Republicans running will face off against each other in only the second candidates forum of the short campaign (the first one, a Tiger Bay event in early December, also featured Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby).

Recent polls conducted by St.Pete Polls shows that Jolly is gaining support at Peters expense. Less than two weeks ago a survey taken by the polling firm had Jolly up by only 5 points - a margin he's more than doubled according to today's poll.

Not much has happened in that time as the holidays have crowded out any significant campaigning. The most significant event since then - Peters allegation that Jolly personally benefited by lobbying for Obamacare - appears to have done nothing for her candidacy.

At a press conference on December 19, Peters charged that Jolly's lobbying firm, Three Bridges Advisors, had lobbied for the Affordable Care Act, making him a hypocrite for blasting the law, which is extremely unpopular amongst Republicans.

"It takes a special kind of dishonesty to publicly oppose Obamacare while personally profiting from it," Peters said at the time. She alleged that Three Bridges Advisors took in over $80,000 lobbying for Faneuil, Inc. in 2012. Faneuil is a Herndon, Virginia based company that run call centers for government and other regulated industries across the country.

That charge was immediately refuted by not only Jolly but by Alden J. Eldredge, Vice President of Business Services and General Counsel of Faneuil, who said that Jolly's firm had worked on transportation issues with his company, and nothing regarding the Affordable Care Act.

One thing that has been fairly consistent in the polling is that Bircher, a favorite with the Tea Party crowd in Pinellas, gets around 17 percent during each survey, showing that while he has a steady level of support, it isn't nearly enough to put any scare into Jolly or Peters.

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