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FL-02 Poll: Blue Dog Allen Boyd Trailing In Dem Primary

FL State Sen. Al Lawson

FL State Sen. Al Lawson

In one of the few announced primary races on the Democratic side, Rep. Allen Boyd, a Florida Blue Dog who voted against the House health care bill, is already trailing state Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson in a two-way race.

Lawson leads Boyd 35-31 in the poll, conducted by The Research Network, with the rest undecided. Allen Boyd’s re-elect number is just 39%, and his job approval number is 44.5%. While Boyd has generally good favorability numbers, Lawson’s numbers are sky-high, with a 47.5% favorability and just 12.4% unfavorable. By contrast, Boyd is up to 38% unfavorable. The poll screened for likely voters, and has a fairly large margin of error of ± 4.6%.

Lawson, in a statement, said, “These poll results confirm what we have known for a long time. I can and will win this election. I have said for months that this race is winnable because it’s about what’s best for the people of Florida. Allen Boyd has done the bidding of special interests, and North Florida deserves better. I will represent their interests in Congress.”

Boyd not only voted against health care reform, but the stimulus package back in February. His campaign has already started running ads in the district, a sign that the incumbent feels nervous about re-election.

This sign of success against an incumbent Blue Dog could potentially offer hope to more progressive primary challenges.

UPDATE: In contrast to Boyd, who voted against health care on the floor of the House, Lawson has publicly expressed support for the public option, and opposition to triggers. He said that “Real health care reform must include a public option” and added in a live chat on FDL:

I am not a fan of triggers. My preference is clearly a public option. A public option creates competition. I do not like a watered down version, that only only makes private insurance clean up their act while people are looking.

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David Dayen

David Dayen