National Journal Spotlights SoFla Races

From their Tuesday, July 08, 2008 Hot Race Hotline email:

Navigating Lincoln
There aren't many cities, particularly Hispanic-majority ones, where Cong. GOPers can claim dominance like they can in Miami. Dems are already laying siege to the lone GOP NYC seat. Can they successfully compete in Miami?

-- Polling by Dem-aligned Bendixen & Assoc. suggests they can make a good run at seats held by Lincoln (R-21) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25). It was assumed that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-18) was the safest of the three, and this poll confirms that. But the surprise is that Mario is having such a hard time. Of the two brothers, he was considered the more savvy candidate, and better able to fend off a strong challenge.

-- But make no mistake, Lincoln is the big target for Dems. They see him as prone to over-reacting and not being able to take a punch. That may be true, but ex-Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez (D) is no timid soul, either. Dems say their ace in the hole is the fact that younger Cubans are less attached to the GOP than their parents. Finally, this was borne out in polling. In this survey, Lincoln leads by 12% among voters 65+, but trails by 5% among the 18-49 set.

-- If this pattern holds, then Lincoln is in for a race. And a big youth-vote push by Obama in Miami would do nothing but aide Martinez's bid. Will this trend wash over into the two more safer CDs?

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