Democratic poll puts Garcia ahead of Rivera in Fla. House race

September 24, 2012

A Democratic super-PAC geared toward regaining the majority in the House released a poll on Monday that put Democratic candidate Joe Garcia ahead of Republican Rep. David Rivera (Fla.) by 9 percentage points in the race for the embattled congressman’s seat.

The poll, conducted by GBA Strategies for House Majority PAC and SEIU, gives Garcia 50 percent to Rivera’s 41 percent support. President Obama leads Mitt Romney in Florida’s 26th District by 13 percentage points.

That’s the exact same lead Garcia posted in an internal poll from his campaign in late August. But it’s yet unclear who exactly leads, as thus far only partisan or internal polls have been released, and each tells a positive story for its respective candidate. Rivera’s campaign released a poll just last week that put him ahead of Garcia by 6 percentage points.

But this new poll does indicate that Democrats could home in on investigations surrounding Rivera to try to move the needle in its favor. Rivera is under a criminal investigation into his campaign finances, and has connections to an ongoing federal investigation into a possible shadow campaign he may have conducted for Garcia’s political rival during the Democratic primary race.

When those polled were given details on these investigations, Rivera’s support falls “well below the 41 percent he garners at the outset,” the polling memo states, though it doesn’t elaborate on how far below. 

The poll was conducted among 400 likely voters in both English and Spanish from Sept. 8-13 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.