To: Interested Parties
From: Lake Research Partners
Date: August 5, 2020
Re: New Poll Shows Gaetz in Trouble in His Own Backyard
A recent survey of likely voters in Florida’s 1st Congressional District reveals Congressman Matt Gaetz in a vulnerable position, with voters expressing a clear appetite for a change in representation. Gaetz’s job performance and re-elect ratings show weakness, especially among unaffiliated voters who will by and large determine the outcome of this election. Among other issues, Gaetz has made himself unpopular in the district by siding with developers to oppose the county’s “customary use” ordinance, stripping local beachgoers of their basic rights.
· Voters are closely divided on Matt Gaetz’s job performance as a U.S. Congressman, with only 46% offering a positive rating compared to 42% who judge his performance as just fair or poor. The situation is particularly bleak for Rep. Gaetz with Unaffiliated voters, a majority of whom decisively disapprove of his performance, 31% excellent/good to 51% just fair/ poor.
· Notably, Rep. Gaetz significantly underperforms in this district compared to President Trump. While most voters are unable to offer a positive assessment of Gaetz’s performance in Congress, the opposite is true for the President, who draws a positive job performance rating in FL-01, 55% excellent/good to 44% just fair/ poor
· Voters in FL-01 are ready for change — a plurality of voters does not plan on voting to re-elect Rep. Matt Gaetz. Only 43% of likely voters in FL-01 say they plan on voting to re-elect Gaetz, while 44% are either considering voting for someone else or plan on voting to replace him. Again, these numbers are worse for Rep. Gaetz with Unaffiliated voters where only 30% say they plan on voting to re-elect Rep. Gaetz and 48% are considering voting for someone else or plan on voting to replace him.
· It is worth noting that the vast majority of Unaffiliated voters in this district, fully 7-in-10, self-identify as Republicans (36%) or independents (34%), compared to just 25% who describes themselves as Democrats; even so, Gaetz appears to have left these voters feeling neglected and in search of new leadership.
· Rep. Gaetz has driven a wedge between himself and the district on countless issues, but one that has emerged as particularly troublesome for him is his decision to side with property developers and well-connected Panhandle property owners who don’t even live in the district, instead of local citizens, by opposing the county’s “customary use” ordinance. Gaetz’s interference in local politics to strip Florida beachgoers of basic rights is a concern for a 51% majority of voters, including more than 4-in-10 Republican voters.
 Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey of 400 likely voters in Florida’s 1st Congressional District, as well as 159 independent/ unaffiliated voters. The survey was conducted by professional interviewers via phone on a representative mix of mobiles and landlines. The survey fielded between July 27–30, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/-4.9%.