An independent poll shows Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo with a 1 point lead over Democratic challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell—and a contingent of undecided voters large enough to decide the election.
A poll conducted by Mason Dixon Strategies and Telemundo 51 from October 3 to October 9 with 625 registered voters who said they were likely to vote showed a race that is essentially a toss-up for Curbelo’s Miami to Key West congressional seat that President Donald Trump lost more than 16 percentage points two years ago. Curbelo captures 46 percent support while Mucarsel-Powell takes 45 percent. Nine percent of voters are undecided as both campaigns spend millions on TV advertising.
Curbelo once had a lead in the race but Mucarsel-Powell has closed the gap in recent weeks through increased TV spending. Curbelo is better known than Mucarsel-Powell according to the poll and has a higher favorability rating, though Mucarsel-Powell has a lower unfavorable rating than Curbelo. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percentage points, meaning the race is essentially a tie.
Mason Dixon identified immigration as the most important issue in the district among Hispanic and non-Hispanic voters alike. The economy ranked second while healthcare, the issue that Mucarsel-Powell and Democrats have identified as the most important issue in the district after Curbelo voted to repeal Obamacare, ranks third.
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The poll also has potential bad news for Curbelo, who has campaigned on his effort to help draft the GOP’s tax bill last year. Forty-eight percent of voters said they have not benefited from the legislation while 31 percent said they have benefited.
Democrats Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum also hold a lead in the poll, which only includes voters in the district for races that will be decided by voters across the state. Nelson has a 51 to 43 percent lead over Gov. Rick Scott for his U.S. Senate seat, while Gillum has a 46 percent to 39 percent lead over Republican Ron DeSantis for the open governor’s seat.