Category Archives: Politics: FL-18

Taddeo Gaining Fast

New polling released today shows Taddeo has lept from a 15+ point deficit in the previous poll a couple of weeks ago to only a seven point gap among voters who have made up their minds about the race in Florida's 18th district. Most importantly, Ros-Lehtinen remains under the magic 50% — the incumbent's recent ad blitz has netted her a statistically insignificant 2% gain over the last poll while Taddeo has surged. Add in the leanings of the uncommitted and this election is nearly tied.

Why? National events — plus Taddeo's name recognition has almost doubled in the last few weeks.

Here are the key stats: Taddeo at 41% and Ros-Lehtinen at 48%, and 11% undecided. Meanwhile, 78% of [somewhat] undecided voters lean toward Taddeo; only 22% to Ros-Lehtinen. That's almost a 4:1 split. Allocate that [remaining] 11% undecided according to the same 78-22 ratio, and the candidates are within 1% of each other — 50.42 to 49.58. If these numbers are right, they must be freaking out over at Ros-Lehtinen HQ.

As the pollster's memo notes,

Ros-Lehtinen’s favorables have declined while her unfavorables have increased. Moreover, because she is so well known in the district (94% are familiar with her) Ros-Lehtinen has very little room to grow her support, while Annette Taddeo is in a far better position to become better known to the electorate.

If the election were held today, these numbers suggest it could still be a squeaker win for Ros-Lehtinen. But there's still two weeks to go — and the more McCain looks like a loser, the more that Republican voters may stay home.

Like I've said from the start, this is going to be a turnout-driven congressional election. Here in south Florida we're enjoying a full-court press by the Obama get-out-the-vote team, plus some serious field work by the Taddeo forces.

And that's why blogging may be a spotty for a while: A few days ago I volunteered to be a precinct captain for the Taddeo campaign. Starting this past weekend my kids and I have been working our way through our precinct, going door to door identifying likely voters, and talking to independent voters and other identified persuadables about why they should vote for Taddeo. So far the response has been excellent. (PS, if you live or work near me — I now have Taddeo yard signs.)

Meanwhile, you can send Taddeo a few dollars, or buy a TV ad (prices start at $100 for two or more).

[Slightly improved from original version for clarity.]

Below, full text of the Taddeo Press Release.

Continue reading

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State GOP Starts the Sliming and Fear-Mongering

I haven't gotten mine yet, but someone was kind enough to send me a scan of a GOP mailer that is going to houses around here claiming that Democrats want to “surrender” to terrorism. This particular copy was sent right to the heart of FL-18, Annette Taddeo's district.

The content of this thing is pretty ugly. Here's a shot of the worst page. You can click on it for a larger .pdf version of that page.


This is accompanied by a smiling photo of Governor Charlie Crist, along with a message warning that terrorists want to kill us, and that we should vote for Republicans to “help keep America safe.” (You can download a .pdf of the entire mailer, if you want.)

Got that? The State GOP, which paid for this thing, and the formerly post-partisan Governor, are saying that Democrats want to surrender to terrorists. Talk about low-class smear jobs…

Does anyone actually think that Democrats want to surrender to terrorism? Most Democrats want to make an orderly exit from Iraq. So, the polls tell us, does most of the country. (And, for what it's worth, during the second Presidential debate it was Obama who took the more bellicose approach towards chasing down bin Laden, not McCain.)

It used to be that we only saw stuff like this in the last week before election day. But the GOP wants absentee ballots, and early voting starts soon, so here we go.

Posted in 9/11 & Aftermath, Florida, Politics: FL-18 | 11 Comments

Video: Taddeo Smacks Down Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Social Security

Thanks to Eyeonileana (FL-18: Annette Taddeo instructs incumbent on Social Security) for the link to this video:

I wish everyone in the 18th Congressional District could see this: Democrats are sometimes accused, occasionally even with justice, of fear-mongering on Social Security. But with this incumbent it's all true: she really does support 50% privatization — and if she'd had her way, in the future people who depend on Social Security would be very very vulnerable.

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Local Congressional Race Update

Lots going on on the local political scene.


  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen defended her support for privatizing Social Security at a recent candidate's forum. (See Rivals spar at only meeting.) Imagine if your social security — or even only half of it as Ros-Lehtinen has proposed — were in today's stock market.
  • Annette Taddeo points out that Ros-Lehtinen Took $939,044 in campaign contributions from financial, real estate, and other special interests.
  • Ros Lehtinen won't debate Annette Taddeo — their only joint appearance was that candidates' forum — where they told her all the questions in advance.
  • Good Taddeo spot:
  • The latest poll shows Taddeo improving, but with a long way to go. The Telemundo 51 poll shows Taddeo behind 48-35, 13 points down, with 17 percent of the voters undecided. In June, a Bendixen poll had Ros-Lehtinen leading by 27 points. Taddeo is leading among independent voters 39% to 36%, with 25% still undecided.
  • Usually, I'd say a gap like that was too much, five weeks before the election. But given the state of the economy, the fact that IR-L remains under the 50%+ that spells safe incumbent, I think there's still everything to play for. And that social security comment ought to bother people here. (Who in their right mind wants social security in this stock market?)
  • And here's an old video — from March. Even then, Taddeo was pretty good. And she's better now.

FL – 25

  • Polls are looking better and better for Joe Garcia.

FL – 21

  • I hear Raul Martinez's polls look even better than Joe Garcia's…
Posted in Politics: FL-18, Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | Leave a comment

Great New Ad from Taddeo

I've said for some time that Annette Taddeo needs to go negative to win — not easy for a woman running against an incumbent with personal popularity that mask horrible policies, but necessary to expose the incumbent for what she is.

I'm delighted to say, it's starting, and well. Here's Taddeo's second TV ad:

I like it!

There's also a Spanish version, Dos Gotas, that might be even better.

Illeana changed her vote to support the Wall Street Bailout. That won't be popular. But in an odd way it makes me happy because I was uncomfortable agreeing with something she'd done. Now things are normal again: she's a disaster for our district.

Posted in Politics: FL-18 | 2 Comments

Taddeo, Garcia, Martinez Wow the Grey Panthers

Strong account of what must have been a great event by John Hood in the insurgent SunPost, Congressional Candidates Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez and Annette Taddeo Blast It for the Gray Panthers:

… Annette Taddeo, Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia, who are vying to represent what’s surely the majority of our peninsula’s tip: Taddeo and District 18, which stretches from Miami-Dade’s southern suburbs all the way to the Keys; Martinez and District 21, which includes his beloved Hialeah; and Garcia and District 25, which comprises much of Miami-Dade, as well as the entire Everglades.

If they were a band, this three-piece would sell out arenas, so it’s no surprise that on this day the turnout was just about standing room only. Each candidate is running on issues very near and dear to the Gray Panthers’ hearts, as well as their wallets — health care, prescription drug costs, housing — and each came out blasting the incumbents for a reckless disregard of the people and their needs.

Naturally, their opponents weren’t on hand to answer back, despite being repeatedly offered a chance to do so. According to Gray Panthers Miami-Dade Chapter board member and event organizer Jack Topel, today’s proceedings were “originally slated to be a debate, but there were scheduling conflicts, so we decided on forums. The Republicans — for whom we’ve set aside Oct. 18th — still haven’t replied.”

Too bad too, ’cause if they had, they would’ve met a gaggle of good folk consistently committed to cause. Then again, neither Ileana Ros-Lehtinen nor the Diaz-Balart brothers, Lincoln and Mario, has thus far accepted an invitation to debate anyone, unless you count Lincoln’s acceptance of an invitation from CBS, which was never even extended in the first place.

No matter, the Democrats showed and they showed strong. Joltin’ Joe Garcia, the natural who, given a podium, could command a crowd for days, opened the proceedings with a vow to take that which Mario had gerrymandered into being, and turn it into something representing a district, rather than a fiefdom. Taddeo, as determined as she is poised and informed, followed up by lambasting Ros-Lehtinen for, among other things, rubber-stamping Bush’s efforts to end the S-CHIP program. And then Martinez, who in person seems like the kinda man you’d want to take in a ball game with, concluded by warning everyone to be on the lookout for an element of fear to be injected into the coming election, adding a crack about the newfound respect hoisted upon former mayors since a certain someone was given the VP nod, even though he has represented condos with a larger population than the entire city of Wasilla.

Posted in Politics: FL-18, Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | Leave a comment

FL-18 Notes

The Miami Herald reports that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's campaign e-mail to Dade teachers draws ire. Imagine being so clueless as to think spamming people wouldn't bother them!

Meanwhile Daily Kos bring us some poll numbers that remind us of the strong position Ros-Lehtinen starts in (53-36, the usual margin in the past when running against weaker opponents) before the Taddeo campaign takes to the airwaves. Indeed, as South Florida seats go, this is one of the safer ones — but no one is safe this year.

I'm waiting for Taddeo to go negative; if and when that happens, I think this race will get much more fluid. After all, there's so much to be negative about.

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