Lawson Has Double-Digit Lead in Florida’s 5th District, Poll Finds

With days to primary, incumbent Democrat in comfortable spot

Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., has a commanding lead over his District 5 primary challenger, a new poll shows. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With just four days left until the Florida primaries, incumbent Rep. Al Lawson controls a double-digit lead over his Democratic challenger, according to a University of North Florida poll. 

The poll of likely voters in Florida’s 5th District, released Thursday, is the latest sign of Lawson’s dominance over former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, who has attempted to build momentum with backing from progressive groups and religious leaders.

The UNF poll shows 48 percent of likely voters would vote for Lawson, while 29 percent said they would vote for Brown.

“Brown supporters might point to the large number of undecided voters as potential supporters, but late deciders never swing entirely for one candidate,” Michael Binder, UNF Public Opinion Research Lab faculty director and associate professor of political science, told local public broadcasting outlet WJCT

The poll surveyed 402 people, via live telephone calls, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent. 

Brown has said in recent days he is confident of an upset victory and has tried to paint his opponent as too conservative for Florida voters. 

Al Lawson is the only Democrat who voted with Jeb Bush in the Florida Senate for vouchers to drain billions of dollars from public education,” he said on a WJCT broadcast Monday.

But he will have an uphill battle, according to recent indicators. The UNF poll is the second this month to show Lawson with a commanding lead. A St. Pete Polls survey of 445 likely primary voters released Aug. 12 showed Lawson with a 20 point lead. 

Lawson has also netted some powerful endorsements, including the local Florida Times-Union and Jacksonville state Rep. Tracie Davis. He also leads in fundraising. Lawson had raised over $503,000 and has over $131,000 on hand as of Aug. 8, the most recent data available. That’s compared to Brown’s $388,000 raised and $84,000 on hand. 

Watch: House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats

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