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Celinda Lake TO: Interested Parties

President

Alysia Snell FROM: Bob Meadow, Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff and Martin
Partner
Lachter
Michael Perry
Partner
DATE: October 21, 2008
David Mermin
Partner
SUBJECT: Findings from a recent survey of likely voters in Florida’s
Robert G. Meadow, Ph.D. 18th Congressional District1
Partner

Daniel R. Gotoff
Partner
Recent polling in the 18th Congressional District shows that Annette
Taddeo (D) is now within striking distance of the incumbent Ileana Ros-
Joshua E. Ulibarri
Partner
Lehtinen (R). Taddeo has significantly cut Ros-Lehtinen’s lead since the
benchmark polling in June. Currently, Taddeo trails by 7 points (48% to
Rick A. Johnson
Vice President
41%) while in June, Ros-Lehtinen led by 31 points (58% to 27%).2 Ros-
Lehtinen’s re-elect numbers have also dropped, with a majority (56%) of
Tresa Undem
Vice President
the voters now planning on replacing or considering replacing her.
Robert X. Hillman
Chief Financial Officer
Taddeo’s gains reflect aggressive campaigning since June, resulting in an
increase in Taddeo’s name recognition from 14% to 63%. Moreover, the
Alan C. Wolf
Chief Operating Officer climate in the district has become more favorable to a Democrat for a
number of reasons. First, Barack Obama now leads John McCain 47% to
45%, coming back from a 10-point deficit in June. Second, Democrats
are making historic gains in voter registration throughout south Florida,
and in the 18th Congressional District in particular. In just two years, the
Republican advantage over the Democrats in the 18th CD has dropped
from 22,000 to less than 2,000,3 making this area a prime spot for a
Democratic takeover.

1
Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey that was conducted by telephone using
professional bilingual interviewers. The survey reached a weighted total of 457 likely General Election
voters in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. The survey was completed October 21, 2008. The margin of
error for this poll is +/- 4.6%.
2
Conducted June, 2008. 700 likely General Election voters in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. The
margin of error for this poll is +/- 3.7%.
3
Registration figures from the Division of Elections, Florida’s Secretary of State.

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Findings from a Survey in Florida’s 18th CD – October, 2008 Page 2 of 2

Other key highlights from the poll include

• Ros-Lehtinen’s favorables have declined while her unfavorables have increased.


Moreover, because she is so well known in the district (94% are familiar with her)
Ros-Lehtinen has very little room to grow her support, while Annette Taddeo is in
a far better position to become better known to the electorate.

• Key issues such as bringing change to Washington are more likely to be


associated with Taddeo than Ros-Lehtinen.

• Of the undecided voters who were then asked to whom they were leaning, 78%
went to Taddeo and only 22% to Ros-Lehtinen.

On balance, our data indicate significant movement toward Taddeo. Using even the most
conservative turnout model (with more Republicans sampled than Democrats and a three-
point Republican advantage in party identification), Taddeo’s progress since June is
substantial. Modeling for a Democratic surge would tighten the race even further.

In a climate of change, with a discredited Republican brand and a resurgent Democratic


Party in the Miami area enthusiastic about the Democratic ticket led by Barack Obama,
Annette Taddeo can continue to become better known in the district and to press the case
against Ros-Lehtinen if she is adequately funded. She has a great opportunity to move
this seat into the Democratic column.

Lake Research Partners