In one of the most closely watched congressional primaries in Florida, a new poll shows U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., in excellent shape as he readies to face former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown next week. 

On Thursday morning, the University of North Florida’s (UNF)  Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) released a poll of likely primary voters in the North Florida district. Lawson takes 48 percent of those surveyed while 29 prefer Brown and 22 percent remain undecided and 1 percent back other candidates.

“Early voting is well underway, Election Day is just a few days away and Lawson has a commanding 19-percentage point lead,” said Michael Binder, UNF PORL faculty director and an associate professor of political science at UNF “Brown supporters might point to the large number of undecided voters as potential supporters, but late deciders never swing entirely for one candidate.”

Brown is leading in Duval County but not by enough to catch Lawson. In Duval County, Brown pulls 47 percent while Lawson gets 29 percent there and 24 percent of voters there are undecided. But outside Duval County, Lawson is firmly in control, pulling 68 percent with Brown only pulling 10 percent while 20 percent are undecided and 2 percent prefer other candidates. 

“Roughly half of Congressional District 5 voters are in Duval County, and even though Brown is ahead by 18 percentage points in Duval, that isn’t nearly enough. Lawson is ahead by nearly 60 percentage points in the counties west of Duval,” said Binder.

The poll of 402 likely Democratic primary voters in Congressional District 5 was taken from Aug. 17 through Aug. 19 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent. 

Last week, St. Pete Polls released a similar poll , commissioned by Florida Politics, with Lawson taking 50 percent and Brown getting 28 percent. 

Whoever wins the Democratic primary next week will be a heavy favorite over Republican Virginia Fuller in November. 


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