Internal poll shows Democratic candidates leading in 3 key Miami-Dade races

Annette Taddeo JC Planas David Richardson -- Candidates
The results are self-affirming.

The offices of Miami-Dade Clerk, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector are up for grabs in November, and more county voters are lining up behind Democratic candidates than their GOP counterparts, new polling shows.

A survey this month by political consultant Christian Ulvert shows the three candidates he’s working for in each race are leading all opponents in their respective races, despite the involvement of Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Ulvert reported surveying 1,792 likely Miami-Dade voters May 15-20. Democrats hold a 6.5-point lead over Republicans in the county; however, he modeled the poll with +5 Democratic voter participation to reflect “turnout trends in presidential election cycles.”

That augmentation could be negated — or doubled — by the poll’s 4.8-percentage-points margin of error.

Miami-Dade Clerk and Comptroller

In the Miami-Dade Clerk’s race, former Sen. Annette Taddeo holds a nearly double-digit lead in Ulvert’s poll over Juan Fernandez-Barquin, the former state lawmaker who vacated his House seat in June 2023, when DeSantis appointed him as Clerk.

Forty-six percent of likely voters say they’ll cast ballots for Taddeo, a Democrat and Ulvert’s client, compared to 37.5% who say the same for Fernandez-Barquin. The remainder (16.5%) say they are undecided.

Image via Christian Ulvert.

Ulvert told Florida Politics he did not ask respondents about Republican candidate Rubin Young, who is running for both Miami-Dade Clerk and Congress this year, because he stands little chance of defeating Fernandez-Barquin in the GOP Primary.

So far, Taddeo has no Primary opponent.

This year’s election will mark the first time in more than three decades that voters will elect someone other than Harvey Ruvin as Clerk. Ruvin died on Dec. 31, 2022, after 56 consecutive years of public service.

Supervisor of Elections

Ulvert found Republican-turned-Democrat former Rep. Juan Carlos “J.C.” Planas, another client, leading Miami Republican Rep. Alina García in a theoretical head-to-head General Election clash.

Forty-three percent of respondents say they plan to vote for Planas, compared to 36% who say the same about García.

Given no other option — despite Democratic political consultant Willis Howard and Republican lawyer Megan Pearl also being in the race at the time Ulvert conducted the poll — the remainder of those surveyed (21%) say they are undecided.

Image via Christian Ulvert.

Pearl dropped out of the race Wednesday, one month after Trump endorsed García, who announced in February that she would not seek a second House term.

Howard is still running. He and Planas are set to face a third Democratic Primary opponent, tech entrepreneur Arnie Weiss, who filed paperwork to run Friday.

This election is the first time Miami-Dade voters will choose a Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector, both of which have been Mayor-appointed offices under the county’s 1957 charter. In 2018, Florida voters — including 58% of Miami-Dade voters — approved a constitutional amendment requiring every county in the state to elect those offices, a Sheriff and Property Appraiser by Jan. 7, 2025.

Miami-Dade’s appointed Supervisor of Elections, Christina White, is not running to keep her job.

Tax Collector

Former Miami Beach Commissioner and Rep. David Richardson, also a Democratic Ulvert client, enjoys a 10-point lead over Republican ex-Hialeah Council member Bryan Calvo, the poll found.

Forty-three percent of likely voters say they will support Richardson in a one-on-one matchup with Calvo, for whom 33% of respondents plan to cast ballots.

Twenty-four percent of respondents say they are undecided.

Image via Christian Ulvert.

Ulvert said he omitted Calvo’s Primary opponent, Dariel Fernandez, from the poll because Calvo has significantly greater name recognition, better funding and, as such, is highly favored to beat Fernandez.

Richardson currently has an unobstructed path to the General Election and an enormous cash advantage. As of March 31, the last date for which campaign finance reports were required under state law, Richardson had $600,000 in the campaign coffers.

Calvo, who filed to run March 26, reported raising $11,000 in the five days before the first-quarter reporting deadline. Second-quarter reports are due July 10.


The Primary Election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

Ulvert also conducted polling on the county Mayor’s race and a crowded contest to be Miami-Dade’s first elected Sheriff since the 1960s.

Both candidates he works for — Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Public Safety Chief James Reyes — scored higher support among voters than their Primary and GOP opponents.

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.


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