Sen. Annette Taddeo leads City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell by 36 points in the Florida Congressional District 27 race to unseat Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar less than a week after making her candidacy announcement.
The baseline test shows that Taddeo is able to parlay her 64 percent name awareness advantage over Russell’s 42 percent into a comfortable lead. The Taddeo campaign utilized a similar polling metric as the Nikki Fried gubernatorial campaign in conducting a secondary poll that provides respondents with a positive informational reading on candidates. In this format. Taddeo added an additional 40 percent to her lead.
“This race isn’t about any one person, it’s about choosing the best candidate to defeat Rep. María Elvira Salazar in November and return real representation to Florida’s 27th district,” said Taddeo’s campaign manager Nick Merlino. “In just the last few weeks since officially declaring for this race, the support has been overwhelming. This poll confirms what we already knew, that we’re the best campaign to build the coalition of voters necessary to flip this district in November.”
Shortly after the announcement of her Congressional campaign, Taddeo received a series of endorsements from lawmakers including Reps. Charlie Crist, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and former lawmaker Donna Shalala.
Taddeo in early June terminated her gubernatorial campaign, opting to run in what is widely being considered one of Florida’s most tightly contested elections. Republicans now have a slight advantage in the district thanks to the new congressional maps supported by Gov. Ron DeSantis, but it is still one of the most evenly divided in the state.
“We are at a critical point in our country,” Taddeo told CBS Miami. “And frankly, I am not going to stand on the sidelines and not go in there and fight, especially after what we saw in Buffalo and Uvalde.”
Russell, who raised $1.2 million for the Senate campaign, is the second Democrat to enter the race for the seat held by Republican Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar.
Originally running for the Senate seat that Sen. Marco Rubio occupies, Russell dropped from the race as it became increasingly clear that Rep. Val Demings will likely win the Democratic primary. In dropping his candidacy, Russell gave an endorsement of Demings. Russell recently received an endorsement from former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.
“Excited to endorse [Ken Russell] in his race for Congress. Ken has a track record of getting things done, particularly when it comes to Climate Change and Florida’s Water Quality,” said Murphy on Twitter.