A new poll conducted of likely voters in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor shows former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine holding a strong 14 point lead in the critical Tampa Bay area. The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling group and was released Monday morning by the Levine campaign.
The poll also shows that Levine holds a 40 point approval rating in the Tampa Bay area and has a 20 point lead over his closest opponent, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, when it comes to name recognition.
“With less than 100 days to go until Primary Election Day, and 63 days when the first vote-by-mail ballots go out, our campaign is strongly positioned in the critical Tampa Bay region,” said Christian Ulvert, senior advisor to the Levine campaign. “As we continue to build infrastructure, hire key staff, and make more stops in the area, this poll reaffirms why voters in this area are excited about the (Levine’s)progressive vision and commitment to take Florida in a new direction.”
The PPP survey shows that if the Democratic primary were held today, 33 percent of the voters surveyed in the Tampa region would vote for Levine, while 19 percent would support Graham. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum would receive 8 percent, followed by Orlando-area businessman Chris King with 5 percent.
However, the poll shows a large number of Democratic voters in the Tampa region, like the rest of the state, remain undecided. Thirty-five percent of them are unsure of who they will vote for in August.
When it comes to favorability, Levine received a 45 percent approval rating from Tampa area voters, with 8 percent of the voters giving him unfavorable marks. Forty-eight percent of the voters were unsure.
Graham’s favorability rating stands at 30 percent with 7 percent of those surveyed holding an unfavorable opinion of her. Sixty-three percent were unsure.
Gillum received a 16 percent approval rating, with King sitting in fourth place with a 5 percent approval rating.
The poll also shows Levine picking up some momentum in name recognition, mainly due to the large number of television spots he’s been running. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed in the Tampa area say they’ve seen one of Levine’s television ads. Among those who have seen one of his spots, Levine’s favorable rating stands at 61 percent with 8 percent seeing him as being unfavorable.
The PPP survey shows Levine leading every age demographic and has a 17 point advantage among women voters. He holds an 11 point lead among men.
He also holds the lead in each of the five counties in the Tampa area where the poll was conducted — Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and Pasco counties — with large double-digit leads in some of those counties. His lead in Hillsborough stands at 13 percent, followed by 7 percent in Pinellas, 24 percent in Manatee, 23 percent in Sarasota, and 21 percent in Pasco.
The PPP poll was conducted on May 15 and 16. It contacted 581 likely Democratic voters by phone on May 15 and 16.