Friday, August 22, 2008

Joe Garcia campaign strides along without opponent

This post replaces an earlier version in which my eyes had seen Mario in a news release reporting that Lincoln Diaz-Balart was going to be on Republican hatchet-man duty in Denver. Call it Mario Fever, I guess.

Where’s Mario Diaz-Balart? So they’re asking – for months, now – over at Joe Garcia’s campaign. The FL-25 incumbent rubber-stamp is dodging all invitations to community forums or joint appearances on television, always having to “check the schedule.”

“The voters deserve to hear from the candidates,” said the Garcia campaign. “Apparently, Mario Diaz-Balart disagrees. After a disastrous record rubber-stamping George Bush's agenda in Washington, it is no surprise Mario is avoiding an honest debate.”

Joe Garcia, already judged the Best Politician of 2008 by Miami’s New Times weekly, is meanwhile looking better and better. The Cook Report, the Beltway insider guide to candidates, has just upgraded Garcia’s chances in FL-25. It changed the district from “likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

The Cook Report on FL-25 said:

As Democrat Joe Garcia embarks on his campaign to portray GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart as a consummate insider, both money and polling suggest that this race will be competitive. The fact that Garcia outraised the incumbent $513,000 to $392,000 during the second quarter of the year indicates that Democrats will be able to seriously go after Diaz-Balart on district airwaves for the first time in his congressional career. A June poll taken by Democratic firm Sergio Bendixen and Associates (not associated with the Garcia campaign) showed the incumbent leading Garcia by just five points, 44 percent to 39 percent.

At the end of the day, this district's GOP-leaning non-Cuban precincts closer to the Gulf Coast should provide Diaz-Balart with somewhat of a cushion. Garcia enjoys some goodwill from Cuban voters from his years as an official with the Cuban-American National Foundation, and will need to hold down Diaz-Balart's margin among Cuban-American voters to low single digits. But he will also need unprecedented turnout on the part of non-Cuban Hispanics and other Democratic-leaning voters in the eastern portion of the district to win. Although the 21st CD race still represents Democrats' best takeover opportunity in South Florida, this race is not far behind.

Don’t forget to check out the good news for all our Democratic challengers in the voter registration statistics, covered here and on DailKos earlier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Joe, your sleazy campaign style of conducting telephone surveys has really ticked me off! As such here is an updated survey response: I will not be voting for you!!

Hows that for honesty? Something you politicians dont know anything about