Two separate polls from Republican and Democratic third-party groups have arrived at the same conclusion: Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera is losing his reelection effort.
Rivera, under separate federal criminal investigations into his personal and campaign finances, trails Democratic challenger Joe Garcia by 9 percentage points in a Democratic poll and he’s behind by 10 points in the Republican survey — just outside the poll’s error margin.
Rivera’s campaign has produced its own survey showing he has an inside-the-error margin lead of 4 points.
The Republican survey is the newest and most eye-opening because it was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday by a top-flight GOP polling firm with vast experience in Florida: McLaughlin & Associates.
Pollster Jim McLaughlin confirmed the numbers in the poll, but he declined comment and he wouldn’t disclose who paid for the survey obtained by The Herald.
“This is a quality polling firm, and based on the data, it’s very difficult for Rivera to come back,” said political consultant David Custin, who successfully led efforts to defeat Garcia in his previous congressional races in 2010 against Rivera and in 2008 against Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.
“I don’t want Joe to win,” Custin said. “But this poll makes it look like he will.”
The Republican poll’s numbers aren’t just bad news for Rivera in the new Kendall-to-Key West Congressional District 26 seat.
The survey shows Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney trails President Obama 43-51 percent in the GOP-leaning district, which voted an average 4 percentage points more Republican compared to the national average for the results of the two prior presidential campaigns. In some ways, the results of this survey shed light on Romney’s struggles in must-win Florida.
Obama is besting Romney in every recent major Florida survey, albeit the Democrat’s statewide leads are often within the error margin.
In the district, voters essentially deadlocked 47-47 on whether it’s bad to raise taxes on the wealthy or not. And when asked about Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s Medicare, 45 percent said it would be more likely to save “trillions” of dollars while 38 percent said it would end Medicare.\
On Obamacare, 26 percent want it repealed, 33 percent want it modified and 34 percent want it left alone.