How Jackie Toledo defied polls to defeat Julie Jenkins

Incumbent Jackie Toledo was part of Tuesday night’s Republican domination, where Florida’s GOP grew their House majority by five seats.

Toledo won reelection to her South Tampa district, HD 60, with 54% of the vote. Democratic challenger Julie Jenkins earned 46%.

As an incumbent, Toledo had an advantage over Jenkins in name recognition and with a lengthy legislative record.

But, the incumbent’s win still came as a surprise to pollsters, with Democrat Jenkins leading Toledo nearly 10 points in pre-Election Day polling. And, Jenkins’ campaign showed promise beyond polling — the newcomer reported more than 4,400 individual contributors, to Toledo’s 865 donors, though she lagged in the overall money haul.

Despite having a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points, the poll still did not predict what would happen on Election night — a Toledo lead nearly the number Jenkins was expected to flip the district, 8 points.

Anthony Pedicini, Toledo’s campaign manager, credited Toledo’s win to the incumbent’s work on the ground in the community.

“Jackie Toledo is one of the most tenacious campaigners in the state of Florida,” Pedicini said. “And on top of that she’s a prolific fundraiser … Jackie literally worked

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