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Democratic poll claims David Rivera shouldn't be overconfident in Florida House race


Normally Democrats wouldn't bother to invest in a Florida House race where registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by nine percentage points.

But the presence of unpopular Republicans Donald Trump and former U.S. Rep. David Rivera on the ballot in District 118 gives some Democrats hope.

A new poll from Democratic-leaning firm SEA Polling and Strategic Design for state Democrats indicates Rivera enjoys 60 percent name recognition -- but over half of respondents also view him unfavorably. 

Rivera, who is suspected of funding a straw candidate against Democrat Joe Garcia in Rivera's failed 2012 congressional re-election bid, is polling within the margin of error against Democratic challenger and retired Miami-Dade Schools police lieutenant Robert Asencio, according to the poll. Rivera trails Asencio 36-39 percent, with 25 percent of voters undecided. 

"Robert Asencio is running for office because he believes that our elected officials should be held to a higher standard than the racist bigotry put forward by Donald Trump and the outright corruption of David Rivera," Florida Democratic Party deputy communications director Anders Croy said in a statement. "This fall, we believe the voters will pick the cop over the criminal in District 118."

Trump trails Hillary Clinton in the district, which is heavily Hispanic, by 35 percent to 52 percent, with 13 percent undecided, according to the poll.

The poll was conducted from May 31-June 2 and had a relatively small sample size of 300 self-identified general election voters. Its error margin is plus-or-minus 5.64 percentage points. The party balance in the poll was 31 percent Democrat, 42 percent Republican and 27 percent with no party affiliation.

Rivera will face off against Lynda Bell, Carlos PriaAnthony Rodriguez and Steven Rojas Tallon in the Republican primary on Aug. 30. The poll did not include potential general election match-up numbers for other Republicans in the race.

Asencio is unopposed on the Democratic ticket.