Daniella Levine Cava internal poll shows dead heat in Miami-Dade mayoral race

Levine Cava's slight lead over Alex Penelas was within the margin of error.

An internal poll from the Daniella Levine Cava campaign shows her in a statistical tie with Alex Penelas in the 2020 contest for Miami-Dade County Mayor.

That survey polled just four candidates — Levine Cava, Penelas, Esteban Bovo and Xavier Suarez. Bovo, Levine Cava and Suarez all currently sit on the Miami-Dade County Commission, while Penelas is a former Miami-Dade County Mayor.

The internal poll showed Levine Cava with 22% of the vote, followed by Penelas at 20%, Suarez at 14% and Bovo at 11%. The survey has a margin of error of 4.4%.

There are currently 11 candidates competing in the contest, however. The poll showed 10% of voters preferring “someone else” other than the four candidates polled, while 23% of respondents were undecided.

“With the election fast approaching, the latest numbers in the race for Mayor confirm what we continue to hear across Miami-Dade County — Daniella Levine Cava continues to bring together a broad coalition of residents just as she did in 2014 in her decisive win to the county commission,” said Christian Ulvert, a senior advisor to the Levine Cava campaign.

“From day one, we launched a campaign that was by the people and for the people, and Daniella’s grassroots effort to be the first ever to qualify by petition shows how excited voters are about her candidacy. As we enter the next phase of the campaign where we will deploy an aggressive voter communication program, I am confident we will continue to see this lead expand and grow.”

Publicly-released internal campaign polls should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. While those results can be accurate, campaigns always have an incentive to withhold internal polls with poor results and publicly release those favorable to their bid.

However Levine Cava has been competitive via other metrics, such as fundraising. Late last month, Levine Cava also qualified for the 2020 ballot via petition.

The internal poll also measured county residents’ reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak. The results showed 88% worried they or their family members could get sick. Majorities also had concerns about paying their rent or mortgage, accessing unemployment benefits, and having access to food.

“We need to expand testing and paid sick leave to our county’s workers so that we can get through this virus and bring peace of mind back to families around the county,” Levine Cava said.

“We also can’t forget about the need to support our hard-working families during and after this crisis. They need support with getting food on the table, paying their rent or mortgages, and investing in our future to overcome this crisis. These are issues I have long supported and will continue to support.”

The internal poll was conduct from April 30 through May 3 and had a sample size of 487 registered voters.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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