A super PAC tied to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy just reserved nearly $1.7 million worth of broadcast space for English- and Spanish-language ads to help U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar win re-election in Miami.
Now, the campaign team for Salazar’s opponent, Annette Taddeo, is trying to frame that buy as evidence Taddeo has Salazar on the ropes.
“This last-minute scramble to purchase considerable airtime by McCarthy’s Congressional Leadership Fund shows what we all know, that our message is reaching voters and that we’re on track to flip this district,” said Nick Merlino, Taddeo’s Campaign Manager.
“As Republicans plot to retake the House, the last place they want to be spending considerable resources is shoring up vulnerable incumbents. Unfortunately for them, María’s lies and extremism in Congress has become a liability. This ad buy proves what we know to be true, that this is a tossup race and Annette can flip the seat.”
Political spending tracker AdImpact shows the Congressional Leadership Fund set aside $1,688,295 for ads in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, where Salazar won office two years ago. The money kicks in Oct. 11, just after the $516,000 Salazar spent this cycle on broadcast space runs out.
Taddeo, meanwhile, has spent $557,000 on radio and TV airtime. Democratically aligned groups including the League of Conservation Voters, Donna Democrats, Climate Power and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $861,000 for additional broadcast space.
Predictions for the CD 27 race have varied since Salazar and Taddeo won their respective Primaries last month. British outlet The Economist and the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner rank the contest as “the most competitive in the House.”
Polling data supports that outlook. In late June, Taddeo’s campaign released survey figures showing Salazar led her by just 2 points in a head-to-head matchup, 47%-45%, well within the poll’s 5-point margin of error.
Another poll Floridians for Economic Advancement released one month later also found Taddeo was within striking distance of the incumbent.
Some are less convinced the race is that close. Statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight gives Taddeo a 7% chance of winning based on 40,000 simulations of the election.
CD 27 covers a large portion of Miami-Dade County, including the municipalities of Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Coral Terrace, Fisher Island, Glenvar Heights, Kendall, Olympia Heights, Richmond Heights, Sunset, The Crossings, Three Lakes, Westchester and Westwood Lakes.
The district has alternated blue and red since 2019, when former GOP U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retired.
Analyses of CD 27, as redrawn by the DeSantis administration, show it is now safer than before for Republicans but still the most closely divided congressional district in Florida.
It’s also 74% Hispanic, the highest percentage for the voting age population anywhere in the state.