Poll: Runoff between Daniella Levine Cava, Manny Cid likely in Miami-Dade Mayor’s race

Daniella Levine Cava DLC Manny Cid
A hotly contested GOP Primary for Sheriff is expected to attract more Republicans to the Primary ballot box.

Despite sizable advantages in funding, media coverage and the fact she’s running as an incumbent, Democratic Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava doesn’t have the support necessary to avoid a runoff this year, polling suggests.

Her likely opponent in that runoff: Miami Lakes Manny Cid.

That’s according to newly released survey results from Dark Horse Strategies, a conservative Miami-based consulting firm working on Cid’s campaign.

Dark Horse Strategies questioned 474 likely voters last week, most of whom identified as Republicans, and then balanced their answers to reflect the county’s 35% Democratic, 31% Republican and 34% no-party and third-party voter composition.

The poll had a 95% confidence factor and 5-percentage-point margin of error.

Miami-Dade’s mayoral contest is technically nonpartisan. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will compete in the Aug. 20 Primary Election. A candidate must secure more than 50% of the vote to win outright.

Seven candidates are actively running, including four Republicans: Cid, ex-Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger, social media influencer Alex Otaola and Carlos Garín. Levine Cava and trapeze artist Miguel “el Skipper” Quintero are the only Democrats in the race, which also includes no-party candidate Eddy Rojas.

Asked whom they’d vote for if the election were today, 41% of the survey’s respondents picked Levine Cava. Her closest competitor, Cid, polled at 20%. Roughly 29% said they were undecided.

Dark Horse Strategies polling shows Daniella Levine Cava enjoying twice the share of Primary supporters as Manny Cid, but not a large enough portion to win the race outright. Image via Dark Horse Strategies.

Dark Horse Strategies President Emilio Antunez predicts an overshare of Republican voters in the Primary because of a crowded and partisan Sheriff’s race in which the GOP side is far more competitive. The largest share of Republican respondents to the poll (36%) said they intend to vote for Cid.

Thirteen GOP candidates are running to be Miami-Dade’s first elected Sheriff since the 1960s. Several hold unique advantages, from having the biggest war chest and an endorsement from a Hispanic police union to a coveted nod from Donald Trump.

Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Miami-Dade Public Safety Chief James Reyes holds a mammoth lead in cash and political support — including an endorsement from Levine Cava, with whom he shares campaign personnel — over three other candidates.

“Republicans will likely outperform Democrats in August due to a very contested Republican Primary for the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s race, while on the Democrats’ side the Sheriff’s race is basically a coronation,” Antunez said. “This, in conjunction with NPA voters’ aversion to the proposed bond … makes Daniella’s path to 50% plus 1 in August a very difficult one.”

In her January “State of the County” address, Levine Cava unveiled a $2.5 billion bond plan for affordable housing, parks enhancements, resiliency, land conservation and infrastructure upgrades.

Results from a survey her campaign commissioned in November suggested a supermajority of county voters supported the borrowing plan. Those findings were starkly contradicted by a March poll Dark Horse Strategies conducted in which respondents were told the plan would affect property taxes, as most bonds do.

Last month, amid backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, Levine Cava postponed further talk of the package to 2026.

The now-dormant plan remains unpopular among most voters, Antunez’s firm found. Just half of Democrats support it, while 83% of Republicans and 60% of no-party and third-party voters oppose it.

Levine Cava’s bond proposal remains very unpopular among Republican, NPA and third-party voters, Dark Horse Strategies found. Image via Dark Horse Strategies.

A big reason is that voters are largely dissatisfied with how much they’re being taxed already. Seventy-six percent of Republicans and 67% of no-party and third-party voters in Miami-Dade said taxes are too high. Forty-seven percent of Democrats agreed with them. Just 17% of Democrats, 8% of no-party and third-party voters, and 5% of Republicans said taxes are “just right.”

A significant share of Miami-Dade voters also believe they aren’t getting a great bang for their buck. While 59% of Democrats said they are satisfied with county services, half of no-party and third-party voters and 41% of Republicans felt the same way.

Cid said these and other issues indicate voters are keen on a conservative change in Miami-Dade leadership.

“Our campaign is creating the largest coalition of voters in Miami-Dade County’s history as working families and small businesses come together to take the 305 back,” he said. “I look forward to Aug. 20 and our eventual victory on Nov. 5 as Miami-Dade will never be a New York City or Los Angeles.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Mariano Loo

    May 23, 2024 at 10:51 pm

    To speech for crackdowns the 2024 presidential election, is not election it’s another bipartisan reelection of its the incumbent President Biden and former President Trump are seeking to appear on the ballot in all 51 states, despite not being nominated by their respective parties. Both candidates face allegations of trafficking classified US secrets, which they allegedly stole and took to their homes. The FBI has confiscated these materials to prevent self-pardoning, as neither candidate has the legitimacy of a Senate majority to undergo an impeachment process. Since January 6, there has been no legitimate Senate to try an incumbent or former president, requiring a 2/3 majority to acquit or convict them of crimes. This constitutional and judicial process is crucial for holding them accountable for their actions.

  • Eudaldo Del Valle

    May 25, 2024 at 7:13 am

    I hope people know more about Mr. Manny Cid. Mrs. Levin Cava only sees personal interests. Our Miami-Dade is poorer every day in many aspects, taxes increased, there is no respect for the authorities, places like the airport impoverished, creating offices and expanding the government even more, asking for more money without an objective, etc.
    Our vote (5 people ) to Manny Cid.

Comments are closed.


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