Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Up to the Undecided [UPDATED]

This week Telemundo 51, one of South Florida's Spanish-language news stations, released interesting polling results about the anticipated Congressional races involving Rep. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. According to the results, the road to November will be very suspenseful.


Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at first glace seems to have a very comfortable lead (48% v 35%) in front of her opponent, Annette Taddeo. But, Telemundo 51 and a recent FIU/Univision poll show a significant amount of potential voters still undecided. In both polls, undecided voters number about 20%!


Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart leads (48% v 43%) in front of his opponent Raul Martinez, but undecided voters make up 9% of respondents.


Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and his opponent Joe Garcia are almost head to head in this race, Diaz-Balart leading 43% v 41%. But, undecided voters (16%) will certainly name the winner.

It's all very exciting, with less than a month to go until elections. It's important to note that these results come at a time when all candidates above are just beginning their massive media campaigns. These following weeks will be decisive.

Today, all six contenders appeared in a local forum, which the Naked Politics blog attended and provides some details.

The Babalu Blog, who loves to analyze polls, has not reported these findings yet. And Diario Las Americas, a local Spanish-language newspaper that regularly includes columns by Reps. Lincoln or Mario Diaz-Balart, has not reported these findings either. Instead, Diario today posts an article showing support for Ileana, Mario and Lincoln by a Cuban exile organization.

According to the article in Diario, the militant Cuban exile organization "Foro Patriótico Cubano" has endorsed Ileana, Mario and Lincoln for November. The endorsement is signed at the bottom by its members, which include Radio Mambi's Armando Perez Roura and Frank Alonso. Both Perez Roura and Alonso are leaders of the militant organization Unidad Cubana.

----- [Update: Oct. 17] -----

More polling results have been publicized by Univision/FIU. According to the new results, the race between Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Joe Garcia is not as close as it seems. Rep. Diaz-Balart leads over Garcia 46% v 37%. This is a larger lead than the one found by polling done for Telemundo51. Nevertheless, the number of undecided voters is almost identical (17%).

Meanwhile, the attack ads in the race between Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Raul Martinez are heating up. Telemundo51 has video of a confrontation between both candidates accusing each other of being the instigator.

In the video, Raul Martinez reveals that he approached Rep. Diaz-Balart and proposed a deal where they could agree to remove certain negative ads. Martinez says that Rep. Diaz-Balart refused to discuss the issue. Thus, Martinez says that he will continue his ads attacking his opponent as "corrupt."

Also in the video, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart repeats that there is nothing personal about his ads. But, his ads against Martinez have been scrutinized as deceptive.

Raul Martinez has also recently been endorsed by the Miami Herald.