For most of the summer, Donna Shalala has been cruising through the race for the Democratic nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.
But results from two internal polls released this week by two of Shalala’s opponents, suggest the wind may no longer be blowing in Shalala’s sails.
As the Miami Herald reports, a poll released Friday by the Dave Richardson campaign shows Shalala with a 12-point lead over Richardson. The poll shows Shalala with the support of 32 percent of the voters surveyed. That’s a significant drop from the 43 percent support that Shalala’s own poll showed her at in early June.
The poll, conducted Monday and Tuesday by pollster Keith Frederick, was based off a query of 300 likely voters by live phone calls, a quarter of them made to cell phones. The margin of error wa 5.6 percent.
“David Richardson has gained nearly half of the undecided who have moved since mid-June; he now holds a clear second place position and is gaining significant ground on Donna Shalala,” Frederick wrote in a memo to Richardson’s campaign.
Earlier in the week, another internal poll released by Matt Haggman’s campaign showed Shalala holding a 10-point lead over Haggman and Richardson. The Haggman poll has Shalala down to 26 percent of the support of voters surveyed.
According to the Herald, the drop in Shalala’s polling numbers would seem to suggest that “a steady stream of critical commercials and ads by both candidates have depressed Shalala’s numbers. The attacks have increased the number of voters who say they have an “unfavorable” view of the former University of Miami president.”
Shalala, Richardson, Haggman, Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Michael Hepburn are competing for the Democratic nomination for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. The primary will be held August 28, with early voting beginning next week. Vote-by-mail is already underway.