Former U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy would find himself smack dab in the middle of the Democratic nomination for Florida governor if he were to decide to enter the race. He would do even better if he chose former Republican Congressman David Jolly to be his running mate, as Murphy has suggested.
Those are the findings of a poll conducted by Murhpy’s former pollster that was obtained — Politco and reported on Friday morning.
“There’s a lot of conventional wisdom that’s wrong,” said pollster Keith Frederick, whose firm surveyed 750 Florida Democrats from April 23–28. “What this poll shows is this idea — of a new approach to politics with a bipartisan team that works together to solve problems — has currency in the Democratic primary.”
But, as other polls have suggested, Frederick’s survey shows the race for the Democratic nomination is wide open with none of the candidates — including a possible Murphy candidacy — holding a commanding lead.
Asked who they would vote for in the primary, assuming Murphy was a candidate, 20 percent of the Democratic voters surveyed would support former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, with Murphy tied for second along with former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham at 14 percent. Those were the findings in a polling memo obtained by Politico.
The poll suggests Murphy would do even better if he named Jolly to be his candidate for lieutenant governor. The survey shows Murphy jumping into the top sport with 21 percent. Levine would move to second with 17 percent, followed by Graham in third place with 12 percent.
In both scenarios, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando-area businessman Chris King finish well back in the single digits.
According to the polling memo obtained by Politico, the voters who were surveyed were asked the following question:
“Some people are urging Patrick Murphy to run for Governor and pick David Jolly, a moderate and independent former Republican Congressman, as his Lt. Governor running mate. They say it would be a clear sign Murphy would be a different kind of Governor who would work together with reasonable republicans in Tallahassee to set aside Florida’s old, partisan politics and get things done for the Florida. In this case, who would you vote for in the Democratic Primary for Governor?”
It was first reported last week that Murphy and Jolly were considering getting into the race and that they were awaiting the results of the survey conducted by Frederick.