Congressional Race Ratings – September 30th

This week we move CD-26 into the “toss-up” column thanks to the continued bad press and scandal following Republican incumbent David Rivera. Additionally, two polls have been released in the last week showing Democratic challenger Joe Garcia in the lead. However, a word of caution about these polls and this district. This is the third consecutive election where Garcia is the Democratic nominee and in the two previous elections his polling numbers even in public non-partisan polls were ahead of his final election tally. Of course those races were under different circumstances, but while polling shows Democrats competitive in District 26 at the top of the ticket as well, we believe these polls must be viewed in  historical context. Rivera is in a bad spot right now, but the election is still more than a month away, and unlike his other 17 Republican Congressional colleagues from Florida, Rivera’s voting record is far from extreme.  At this moment in time, we still believe Rivera has a 50-50 shot to be reelected even though he is already being written off by many.

Full ratings after the jump

Safe Democratic

FL-5 (Brown)

FL- 14 (Castor )

FL- 20 (Hastings)

FL-21 (Deutch)

FL-23 (Wasserman-Schultz)

FL-24 (Wilson)

Likely Democratic


Leans Democratic

FL-9 (Open)

FL-22 (Open)

FL- Senate (Nelson)

Toss Up

FL-18  (West)

FL-26 (Rivera)

Leans Republican

FL-10 (Webster)

Likely Republican

FL-2 (Southerland)

FL- 6 (Open)

FL-13 (Young)

FL-16 (Buchanan)

Safe Republican

FL-1 (Miller)

FL-3 (Stearns*)

FL-4 (Crenshaw)

FL-7 (Mica)

FL- 8 (Posey)

FL-11 (Nugent)

FL-12 ( Bilirakis)

FL-15 (Ross)

FL-17 (Rooney)

FL-19 (Open)

FL-25 (Diaz-Balart)

FL 27 (Ros-Lehtinen)

* Stearns lost the GOP primary to Ted Yoho

16 thoughts on “Congressional Race Ratings – September 30th”

  1. Lewis in Lauderdale

    Rivera has been made of teflon. Half these issues were around when he was a state legislator and his first Congressional run. Besides he’s known as a thief and a womanizer here in sofla yet has continued to win. I hope Garcia does it this time but I would not count Rivera and the Cuban Republican mafia ie. turnout machine out ever.

  2. Lewis in Lauderdale

    If I were you guys, I’d have kept it “Leans Republican” until we have several weeks of polling showing Garcia winning. Just two weeks ago Rivera was safely ahead. Do not get me wrong, I want Garcia to win but I have been around South Florida Cuban politicians and activists long enough to know what tends to happen election day.

  3. Rivera’s fate hangs with the top of the ticket. If Romney is competitive in the district he will win scandal and all. Garcia keeps running and keeps losing. If the Dems had another nominee Rivera would be toast, but Garcia is unpopular himself from what I gather.

  4. Yeah, but the numbers look good. Almost all the polls conducted in the district have had Garcia up by an average of 9% over the last 40 days. I would call that “several weeks of polling”.

  5. Cuban-American voters are a different animal and as the authors of this site should know that polling typically overstates the Democratic advantage because pollsters don’t ask proper questions in Spanish or the polling is not bi-lingual so it skews towards younger more English centric and liberal CA voters. I assumed with your vast knowledge of polling and trends you would concede this. You somewhat do in your explanation up top but contradict that in the comments.

  6. I actually do the ratings, Dave was just expressing his opinion. I happen to be with you on this. My theory which is based on experience in polling is that the numbers in Cuban-American communities always skew towards the Democrats if a poll is done in English. Also Garcia has always polled higher than his final share of the vote, partly because of this and partly because of his CANF experience which leads to a “I support him” on a polling call, but a classic GOP vote on election day. That’s why I am reluctant to move this race to “Leans Democrat” unless we see a consistent double-digit lead for Garcia. Republicans almost always over-perform relative to public polling that is not done properly in this area. One thing about this district is that it is younger and less 1961 generation immigrant than the other two Miami-Dade oriented Cuban districts (the Diaz-Balart seat takes in a large chunk of Broward which is largely Hispanic and this seat takes in Republican areas of Collier.)

    It is also worth noting the Collier County portions of CD-26 are different than the old CD-25 so this helps Garcia. The Collier County portions have been moved to the Diaz-Balart seat buffering him effectively from the non-cuban Hispanics in SW Broward who are more Democratic.

    Full disclosure. I have been a big supporter of Joe Garcia for years and support him again strongly this time around. I have done some work with him on various projects in the past and think he’d be a fantastic congressman. I am just speaking from experience when it comes to counting on winning seats that are oriented in Hispanic areas of Miami-Dade County. It is almost always an uphill fight.

  7. In the previous race, the polls seesawed between Rivera and Garcia. In this election, the last six polls, by both Democratic and Republican leaning pollsters, have been given Garcia the win with the exception of one. It looks better for Garcia this time around. I can understand the concerns, but the progress looks better this time around.

  8. The new race Grayson is running in is more Democratic. This new district, which is 10 I think, is decently Republican.

  9. You prematurely moved Buchanan. Mote ethical trouble ahead for him. That race is really a toss-up.

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  11. I think this race will be extremely close. Garcia has a slight edge but never count on a Democrat winning a Cuban seat.