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Fri Oct 12, 2018, 09:58 AM

New poll shows Democrat Shalala trailing GOP opponent in a district Trump lost badly

Shalala, a Democrat running in a district that President Donald Trump lost by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016, is trailing Republican TV journalist Maria Elvira Salazar by 2 percentage points in a Mason Dixon-Telemundo 51 poll. The independent poll’s margin of error was 4 percentage points and included a pro-Trump non-party candidate who could siphon votes from Salazar.

Salazar’s unique background as a journalist in a party dominated by President Donald Trump and her appeal with older, Spanish-speaking voters has enabled the GOP to remain competitive. Shalala, one of the most experienced first-time congressional candidates, won a competitive Democratic primary by less than 5 percentage points and has faced criticism from liberal Democrats and Republicans alike for her tenure leading the University of Miami, when campus janitors went on a hunger strike over low wages and the school acquired Cedars Medical Center.

Shalala’s campaign, who announced that they raised more than $1 million in the latest fundraising quarter, will likely maintain a pace capable of sustaining a TV campaign through Election Day. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a close friend of Shalala’s, will be raising money for Shalala in Miami on Oct 24.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson also holds a 4 percentage point lead over Gov. Rick Scott in the race for Nelson’s Senate seat while Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum holds a 4 percentage point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article219862165.html

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Reply New poll shows Democrat Shalala trailing GOP opponent in a district Trump lost badly (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Oct 12 OP
centrarchus Oct 12 #1
Awsi Dooger Oct 12 #3
Post removed Oct 12 #2

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 10:07 AM

1. Not on 538 average polls and probabilities

Individual polls don't mean a lot. Look at average like 538 or RealClear.

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Response to centrarchus (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 05:53 PM

3. This is my district...complicated situation

538 had a very poor estimated probability on this race. They used merely the 2016 Hillary margin of +20 in FL-27 and projected that to landslide victory for a generic Democrat. On some lists it was #1 most likely seat to flip red to blue in the entire country. Ros-Lehtinen retired partially because she hated Trump and partially because she assumed she would lose in a heavy blue year.

But then the nominating process began, and lots of strange twists occurred. The presumed Democratic frontrunner in late 2017 was a young Hispanic guy but he made some strange comments that sounded more like a Republican. So he fell out of favor and when Donna Shalala entered the race in spring she was immediately the elephant in the room, due to money, power and name recognition. The prior frontrunner dropped out. Others entered. Shalala was expected to dominate the primary but did not. She barely won over a guy named Richardson who is more liberal and endorsed by the Miami Herald, where he formerly worked.

Richardson was more of the Gillum wing but he got off to a late start. Shalala contacted me all the time, by email, phone and mailers. I never heard from Richardson once. Since I returned to Miami from Las Vegas in late 2008, Donna Shalala is miles superior to any other Democrat in terms of how frequently she makes contact. It is what I came to expect in Clark County but has been totally absent in Dade County. Somehow Shalala got my cell phone number, which I did not have on my political registration info. But I assume she got it from her connections to the University of Miami, where she was president and I am season ticket holder in football and basketball.

Consequently I voted for Shalala but now I realize Richardson was the superior candidate for the general election in this heavily Cuban district. Shalala does not speak Spanish and the other day they had to translate her comments for a debate aimed at Spanish television. Shalala wore an earpiece throughout. Republicans nominated a much younger woman who is a long time Spanish television personality in the Miami area. All of the Salazar commercials focus on her wandering around on the beach, or maneuvering around in a kayak. Stuff like that. Determined to capitalize on her vitality and emphasis on Miami-area issues. It's all bullshit but she has that celebrity advantage of familiarity and trust. Many Hispanic families here have several generations under one roof, with older family members more heavily Republican and often not speaking English at all. They obviously watch Spanish TV. Those grandmother and grandfather types would be logical to vote heavily for Salazar.

Republican donors were not going to fund this race but now the tight polling has caused them to jump in.

That Mason-Dixon poll with Shalala 2 points behind had Nelson and Gillum up by only 4 points apiece in FL-27. I am skeptical about that and it gives me more confidence that the polling sample is wrong. Let's put it this way, if Nelson and Gillum only win FL-27 by 4 points in a blue year then they will get clobbered statewide, and there is no indication of that.

Shalala is a small betting favorite on Predictit. But the price is dropping all the time. It was in the 90 cent range at one point. Now it is in the 60 range and not inconceivable that Salazar could switch to the favorite before election day.

I still think Shalala will win narrowly but I don't have a good feel for this race at all. Roughly a year ago there was an upset in the state senate District 40 race overlapping FL-27, with Annette Tadeo defeating the Trump Apprentice creep Jose Felix-Diaz by 4 points. That gives me more confidence the polling is wrong but keep in mind Taddeo is Hispanic so the locals were preferring one of their own.

Bottom line, we can't afford to lose races like this en route to taking over the House. And if someone like Salazar got established as incumbent she would be hell to get rid of.

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