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Dem poll: Jose Javier Rodriguez has a shot; DLP beating Barreiro; Romney over Obama

As the Republican candidates eviscerate each other, political newcomer Jose Javier Rodriguez has a decent shot in the general election against either candidate, according to a new Florida Democratic poll conducted by Schroth Eldon & Associates.

Though District 112 is Republican leaning, Rodriguez is almost tied with either former Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla or former Rep. Gus Barreiro, who face off in the Aug. 14 primary. Diaz de la Portilla is up 15 percentage points, 45-30, over Barreiro, the poll says. The poll didn't matchup Rodriguez with Democratic opponent Alex Dominiguez, which is either a sign of confidence (likely) or hubris that could cost Rodriguez in the primary (possible).

In a general-election matchup, Diaz de la Portilla leads Rodriguez 39-34 and Barreiro is ahead Rodriguez 38-34. That’s well within the 4.5 percent error margin of the 300 voters.

However, Rodriguez’s numbers jump past the Republicans’ after pollsters message-tested by reading positive and negative statements about the candidates: Barreiro’s dismissal from the Department of Juvenile Justice after pornography was found on his computer (he says he was set up), and Diaz de la Portilla’s career as a professional politician.

After the messaging, Rodriguez leads Diaz de la Portilla 44-40 and is ahead of Barreiro 44-38.

Meantime, the Republicans have been smearing each other with these attacks, with a committee supporting Barreiro going so far as to send out fliers noting Diaz de la Portilla’s brutal divorce.

Said pollster Tom Eldon in the analysis:

“It should be noted that this poll was conducted on July 15-18, 2012, prior to the recent outbreak of extreme negativity in the Republican primary. One can assume that the unfavorable ratings have increased significantly among the Republican candidates and likely a tighter baseline horserace.

“The two Republican candidates are very well known for an open house seat election. Diaz de la Portilla is almost as recognizable as Governor Rick Scott and Barreiro is recognized by almost 2/3 of the electorate….

“Both candidates do appear to pay a noticeable baggage fee at check-in. If you slide, the “Little of both” result (the number in parenthesis under “Net favorable”) into the unfavorable category both candidates see their net favorable ratings sink into single digits. These would be flashing red warning signs if you were in either campaign and given the virulent tone of the on-going primary, it’s only going to get worse.

"The bottom line is that the poll confirms that House District 112 is extremely competitive and presents a unique opportunity for the Democrats in the fall. Jose Javier Rodriguez is expected to win his primary on August 14th and will be well positioned to take on a damaged Republican challenger, following a bruising primary on their side.”

The favorable/unfavorable breakdown:

Obama: 45/45
Scott: 37/46
Barreiro: 28/15
DLP: 37/24
Mitt Romney: 50/39

Romney beats Obama 49-43. Considering this is a heavily Hispanic district, that’s not real good news for Democrats who are banking on heavy Hispanic outreach. Albeit, the district is heavily Cuban-American, and they tend to vote Republican unlike, say, Puerto Rican voters in Central Florida.

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