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Be careful what you wish for: Donna Shalala is calling for an investigation into corruption at top-flight colleges, despite her formerly leading a college that faced admission scandals of its own. Image via Monica Herndon.


Report: Poll finds Donna Shalala would enter CD 27 Democrats’ field on top

Donna Shalala might not be a candidate for Florida’s 27th Congressional District but she would be leading the very-crowded field of Democrats who are formally in that South Florida race, according to a Politico report Tuesday morning about a new poll.

The survey, conducted last month by the research strategy firm Bendixen and Amandi International, finds that, as a hypothetical candidate, Shalala, a former University of Miami president who had been in President Bill Clinton‘s cabinet,  more than doubles the vote support of the other Democrats in CD 27, according to the report in Politico Tuesday morning. The survey finds Shalala drawing 24 percent, and second-place state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez of Miami managing 10 percent support.

The poll found that the vast majorities of voters don’t know any of the Democrats running in CD 27, including Rodriguez.

Bendixen and Amandi conducted the survey of 600 Democratic voters by phone on Jan. 20-24, claiming a margin of error of 4 percentage points, according to survey slides posted by Politico.

Even though the district has elected a Republican, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, every year since 1989, it has trended Democrat in voter registration and voted strongly for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, making it a key prospect for a Democratic flip. Consequently, it has attracted 10 Democratic candidates, yet none of them is named Shalala yet.

Nonetheles, Shalala’s name keeps coming up, to the point that earlier this month Democratic candidate Mary Barzee Flores spoke out against her in a blog post.

Bendixen and Amandi polled favorability for the top seven Democrats and found 70 to 90 percent of the voters do not know who Rodriguez, Barzee Flores, Kristen Rosen GonzalezDavid RichardsonKen Russell,  Michael Hepburn, or Matt Haggman are yet, or have no opinions about them.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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