With less than a month to go before Election Day, Democratic lawyer A.J. D’Amico holds a 5-percentage-point lead over Republican political insider Vicki Lopez in the race for House District 113 in Miami-Dade County.
That’s according to new internal polling by Impact Research. The Washington-based public opinion firm spoke with 350 voters in the district Oct. 13-16. The survey had a 5.2 percentage point margin of error, meaning the two are in a statistical tie.
A simulated vote by Impact showed D’Amico defeating Lopez 52%-47%.
Both candidates have 33% name recognition among voters in HD 113, a Democratic-leaning district covering portions of Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Miami. Compared to polling Impact conducted in September, D’Amico’s name ID improved 2 points month-over-month, while knowledge of Lopez jumped 5 points.
The voters who knew them carried generally positive views. Twenty-two percent of respondents rated D’Amico favorably in October, up from 20% the month prior, while 12% rated him unfavorably.
Meanwhile, 21% of those polled said they held a favorable opinion of Lopez, up from 15% in September, while 13% carried unfavorable opinions.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they couldn’t rate either candidate one way or the other.
Notably, Lopez’s comparatively high uptick in recognition and favorability came despite a deficit in advertisement visibility. A third of voters surveyed said they recalled seeing ads featuring D’Amico. Slightly less, 30%, said they saw ads on Lopez.
Of those who saw ads for D’Amico, 39% said they viewed him more favorably, compared to 11% for whom the ads had an adverse effect — a more than 3-to-1 ratio. Forty percent said their impression of him went unchanged.
For Lopez, 34% said they viewed her more favorably after seeing ads of her. Twenty-four percent said they held a lesser opinion of her afterward, while 32% said they were unmoved.
Pollsters also asked voters for their opinion of several candidates at the top of the ballot, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, who faces a challenge this year from Democratic former Governor and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.
Asked whom they would vote for if the election were held today, 50% of respondents sided with Crist compared to 47% who chose DeSantis. The remainder claimed to still be on the proverbial fence.
Pollsters found that 48% of HD 113 voters approve of the job DeSantis is doing. The rest disapproved of his performance.
Remarkably, DeSantis held a 50% approval rating in HD 113 just one month earlier. That’s the same job approval rating President Joe Biden has there now, Impact pollsters found.
Of those polled, 94% said they either already voted or were “almost certain” to vote. Four percent said they would “probably” vote, while 2% said there was a 50-50 chance of them doing so.
The largest group polled, 29%, were 65 and older, followed by 26% age 50-64, 23% age 35-49 and 22% age 34 and younger.
Fifty-four percent of respondents were women. The remainder identified as men.
Sixty-three percent identified as Hispanic or Latino. Of those, 47% said they were Cuban and 10% said they were Colombian. Thirty-two percent were non-Hispanic White, while just 3% said they were black, 1% said they were Asian or Pacific Islander and 1% declined to list their ethnicity.
Forty-two percent were either Democrats or Democratically leaning voters. Forty-seven percent said they were Republican or Republican-leaning, while 8% identified as independents. The rest claimed to either belong to another party, no political party or not know their affiliation.
Regarding voting habits, 39% of respondents said they plan to vote in-person at early voting sites, 27% said they will vote using a mail-in absentee ballot, 21% will vote in-person on Election Day and 3% hadn’t yet decided.
Ten percent said they’d already voted.
D’Amico won 68% of the vote during the Aug. 23 Primary Election to defeat Biscayne Neighbors Association President Andrés Althabe and secure the right to run on behalf of his party.
Lopez fared nearly as well, capturing 67% of the vote to beat Venezuelan American Republican Alliance member Alberto Perosch for the Republican nomination.
Both are running to succeed Democratic Rep. Nick Duran, who announced in October 2021 that he would not seek a fourth term in the House. D’Amico filed to run for his seat the next month.
Since then, D’Amico has raised more than $202,000 through his campaign account. As of Oct. 7, he had almost $43,000 left to spend.
Lopez, a former Lee County Commissioner, has amassed more than $389,000 — $50,000 of it her own money — since launching her campaign for state office in January. She had nearly $200,000 remaining by Oct. 7.
Election Day is Nov. 8. Early voting runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 6.