Memo · News


TO:           Interested Parties
FROM:      DCCC Targeting and Analytics Department


In a July DCCC IE survey of likely 2018 general election voters conducted by GBA, Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell pulls even with Republican incumbent Congressman Carlos Curbelo at 46% after voters hear basic biographical information on both candidates. In the initial vote, despite major name ID disparity, Mucarsel-Powell earns 41% to Congressman Curbelo’s 48%. At this point, before significant communication, Curbelo is viewed favorably by 46 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 29 percent. This lead quickly erodes after equal biographic information from both sides.

In the informed vote, Mucarsel-Powell earns 27% of registered Republicans, and leads Congressman Curbelo by 5 points among registered Independents/No Party Affiliation, 45% to 40%. Mucarsel-Powell leads Curbelo by 27 points among voters under the age of 40, 58% to 31%, and by 9 points among women, 51% to 42%. Mucarsel-Powell holds a firm 18-point lead among Hispanic voters under 50, 55% to 37% and a 2-point lead in Miami-Dade County, 47% to 45%.

Throughout the survey, Curbelo is unable to earn a majority of respondents, and respondents move away from Curbelo over the course of the poll. This exodus from Curbelo is spurred by the introduction of Mucarsel-Powell, who at the time of the poll was largely unknown and had not yet communicated with voters in the 26th district. In this poll, Mucarsel-Powell had 22% name ID, with 2-to-1 favorability (14% of likely voters viewed her favorably and 8% viewed her unfavorably) among those who knew her.


In 2016, President Trump lost FL-26 by 16 points, 40.2% to Clinton’s 56.4%, and it seems attitudes towards the national Republican Party remain negative.  The President is viewed very unfavorably by 44% of the district, and a plurality of respondents (48%) indicated that they preferred a Congress controlled by Democrats that would provide checks and balances on President Trump rather than a Congress controlled by Republicans that would work with Trump to get things done (39%).

Further, at the top of the ticket, Senator Bill Nelson leads Governor Rick Scott by 6 points, 48% to 42%. In the generic ballot, a generic Democrat leads a generic Republican by 14 points, 52% to 38%.

The most effective negative messages against Congressman Curbelo included Curbelo’s costly vote to gut Medicare and Medicaid, his support of the tax law that increases the tax burden on Floridians by thousands of dollars, and Curbelo’s recklessness in voting 11 times to repeal Obamacare.

About the District: FL-26 contains Monroe County and part of southwest Miami-Dade County. A majority of the district is urban (54.6%), with significant suburban population (33.8%) and a smaller rural population (11.6%). The district is 62.1% Hispanic/Latinx by current registration with a majority of these Hispanic/Latinx voters of Cuban descent. Clinton (56.4%) and Obama (55.4%, 2012) both won this district with a significant margin.



Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is a first-generation American who immigrated with her mother from Ecuador. Debbie has spent the last twenty-years fighting for local communities in Miami-Dade, focusing on gun violence, climate change, and healthcare. At FIU College of Medicine, she helped to establish and build the Neighborhood HELP program, a community healthcare program that expands access to low income neighborhoods in Miami. Debbie is running for Congress to give more people a fair chance by focusing on growing the economy, paying workers a living wage, and making college affordable

Carlos Curbelo was born to Cuban exiles that fled Fidel Castro’s regime in the 1960s. He is a father, husband and former small business owner who has dedicated his life to serving his South Florida neighbors. Carlos has served on the Miami-Dade County School Board, where he was a part of the historic effort to improve the quality of education for all students in Miami. As a second term member of Congress, Carlos has worked across party lines to find common sense solutions on issues like immigration and the environment. Carlos is running for reelection because we need common sense problem solvers that will put South Florida first.

Methodology: These results are based on a GBA survey on behalf of the DCCC IE of 500 likely November 2018 general election voters in Florida’s Twenty-sixth Congressional district, conducted July 16-22, 2018. Respondents’ information came from the voter file and this poll was conducted by live calls in English and Spanish. The margin of error is +/- 4.4%.

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