Joe Garcia Leads According to Democrat Polls, David Rivera Leads According to Republican Poll

Is controversy-laden Republican congressman David Rivera cruising to re-election in District 26? Depends on whose numbers you look at. Two polls commissioned by Democratic PACs show challenger Joe Garcia with a sizable lead. Of course, an internal poll released by Rivera's own campaign shows him in the lead. 

As we've mentioned before, we're not going to get tons of truly unbiased external polling in this race. The general appraisal is that the race is either a toss-up or ever so slightly still in Rivera's favor. Yes, even though Rivera is currently entangled in scandals and investigations that it should make even Miami-Dade voters blush, he's probably still leading. 

Though, according to two recent polls by Democratic PACs, those scandals may be catching up with Rivera. 

A poll commissioned by the House Majority PAC [pdf link here] says Garcia has a nine-point lead: 

In an initial head to head match-up, Joe Garcia leads David Rivera by 9 points (50 to 41 percent). Garcia enjoys a 4-point edge among self-described Independent voters (43 to 39 percent). Rivera's weakness in this match-up is clearly linked to doubts about his performance in office; just 30 percent of likely voters rate his job performance favorably, while 46 percent rate it negatively. Asked how well a series of words and phrases describe Rivera, 54 percent said they view him as 'a typical politician.'

A poll [pdf link] released about a week before commissioned by Howard Dean's Democracy For America PAC also showed Garcia with a lead. That poll says 46 percent of voters are behind Garcia, while just 39 percent are behind Rivera. 16 percent are undecided. 

Or course, Rivera has his own polls which show him in the lead. His campaign shared numbers with The Hill which say they're up 44-38. Those numbers also show Rivera with a 38-point advantage with Cuban-American voters. 

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