South Florida’s Congressional Toss Ups Four Weeks Out

posted by Claudia Mendoza - 

Here's a quick excerpt from a story in the Miami Herald. ‘We are not the enemies’: GOP candidate touts journalism career in congressional race  

Excerpt: In an era where President Donald Trump shouts “fake news” at unflattering news coverage and belittles journalists who ask him tough questions, the Republican Party is putting its faith in a woman who touts her 35-year career in news reporting — and has vowed to serve as a centrist not beholden to the conservative wing or the president. 

Republicans need to keep 24 seats from flipping blue if they want to maintain the House of Representatives for the latter half of Trump’s first term in office. Salazar, who voted for Trump, is running in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, one that Trump lost by more than 19 percentage points in 2016, the largest margin of defeat for the president in any district held by a Republican. But Salazar has the support of retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — who won reelection in 2016 by 10 percentage points despite Trump’s presence on the ballot — and local Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Carlos Curbelo. 

“Being a journalist for 35 years it’s very difficult to stop being one,” Salazar said. “I covered the first year of [Trump’s] presidency so there is my record. I’ve always covered the issues, not on the fluff or on the words.” 

Salazar is campaigning as Ileana 2.0. She’s indicated an openness to a ban on assault weapons, backs Curbelo’s new carbon tax proposal and says she’ll fight for comprehensive immigration reform if elected. 

Bottom Line: I'm compelled to address the Herald’s statement of fact that’s anything but. In an era where President Donald Trump shouts “fake news” at unflattering news coverage and belittles journalists who ask him tough questions. According to the Media Research Center, 91% of the news coverage of his administration has been negative. This compares to only 46% negative coverage for President Obama. 

Without getting into any specifics about the provably false reporting on major issues with intent to harm President Trump’s administration, it’s clear the media isn’t just trying to ask the tough question. It’s also clear that whether you like the tactics he uses or not he has a point. More importantly, to the District 27th race discussed here, or the other two SFL toss-ups 18 and 26, it’s a given that a blue wave isn’t in the offing in Florida this year.  

  • Brian Mast continues to post a mid-single digit lead in 18 
  • Debbie Powell is averaging about a one-point lead in 26 
  • Maria Elvira Salazar appears to be posting about a two-point lead in this race 

Polling in these races is generally inconsistent and less reliable but regardless it paints the picture that these races are all still toss-ups a month away from Election Day. That’s a story by itself. Entering 2018, Florida’s 27th was considered the easiest pickup for the Democrats nationally. One month out it appears as though the Republican candidate has an ever-so-slight advantage. This is an overly simplistic take of the national landscape but there’s a better than not chance that however, Florida’s 27th goes, so will go control of the House.  

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