Setting the stage for one of the biggest U.S. House upsets of 2010, Republican Steve Southerland has built a double-digit lead over seven-term Rep. Allen Boyd in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows.
Southerland is beating Boyd 50-38 in the North Florida/Panhandle district, according to the poll conducted Oct. 14-17.
Though Boyd maintains a hefty fund-raising advantage over Southerland, a first-time candidate, the Democratic incumbent is bogged down by a 56 percent “unfavorable” rating. Just 33 percent of respondents view Boyd favorably, while Southerland enjoys a much healthier 45/32 favorable/unfavorable score.
“Boyd’s easy wins in the past have obviously come from a block of Republicans and mostly conservative Democrats, but now he has a 37 percent negative with Democrats,” said James Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.
Boyd’s growing unpopularity is manifest by the large field of opponents he attracted this year. Boyd narrowly beat back state Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, while five Republicans vied in the GOP primary for the right to face the Monticello Democrat.
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