Outside poll finds Donald Trump, Ana Maria Rodriguez with comfy leads in SD 39

That's in a district Hillary Clinton won by 10 percentage points

A third-party poll shows Republican Ana Maria Rodriguez leading Democrat Javier Fernandez by six percentage points in Senate District 39. More alarming for most Democrats, the same poll shows Donald Trump beating Joe Biden there by the same margin.

A poll by The Tyson Group shows Republicans dominating a generic ballot in the predominantly Hispanic district. If true, that means gains among South Florida Hispanics made by Democrats under President Barack Obama have largely wiped away.

Results of the survey show Trump winning 48% of the district vote to Biden’s 42%, with 62% of Hispanic voters favoring the Republican incumbent and only 28% picking the Democrat.

That’s in a district Democrat Hillary Clinton won 53% to Trump’s 43% in 2016.

As for the open Senate contest to replace moderate Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, Rodriguez leads with 37% to Fernandez’s 31%. She’s taking 49% of the Hispanic vote.

The Tyson Group reports a 95% confidence interval for the poll, which was conducted between Sept. 8 and 11.

“We are not forecasting a winner. We don’t do that,” said pollster Ryan Tyson, who stressed the poll intends to spot trends, not measure horseraces. “But clearly atmospherics are better for Republicans than we could have imagined a year ago.”

The poll was conducted for the Let’s Preserve The American Dream research organization. It was not publicly released but obtained through another party by Florida Politics.

In both the Senate and President race, there’s been a definite break in the district toward the GOP since this summer. Trendlines in the survey show Trump and Biden were tied at 44% in the district in late July; Rodriguez led Fernandez 31% to 28% at that point.

Since that time, there’s been a decided shift among Hispanic voters toward the GOP.

That’s largely consistent with national polling that has shown the Florida Hispanic vote leaning to Trump, as noted in an NBC News/Marist poll earlier this month.

Of course, Miami-Dade County’s Cubano population for decades stood as one the most Republican-leaning Hispanic blocs in the country.

Notably, pollsters found more than half of voters report no awareness of Rodriguez or Fernandez, showing opinions can still shift significantly in coming weeks.

The generic ballot test may show the information most important in the district in the long term. Moderates in the Senate district remain split between Republicans and Democrats for the most part. But even there, Hispanics break a massive 61% to 26% for the GOP. That’s in a district where white voters favor Democrats 48% to Republicans’ 35% on the generic ballot.

The poll found Trump with a 50% approval to 45% disapproval rate in the district, which is largely unchanged all summer. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, holds a 51% approval rate and a 36% disapproval rate within the jurisdiction.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 21, 2020 at 6:24 am

    Excuse me! The goptrump cult does not and never will accept the American Dream for Immigrants! These goptrump folks cannot be trusted! The goptrump cult lies and lies band lies! Vote Blue! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

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