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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll shows Rivera leading SD 38 race



State Rep. David Rivera is the favorite in the Senate District 38 race, a privately commissioned poll shows. The poll, conducted last week by Dario Moreno, shows Rivera leading a hypothetical three-way race with fellow Miami Republican reps. Marcelo Llorente and Anitere Flores.

Six hundred voters in the district were asked if the election were held today, who would they vote for: Rivera (28 percent) Flores (15) and Llorente (7) and the rest are undecided. (As a result, some critics say the poll should not  be taken seriously.

The poll, conducted last Monday and Tuesday, has a 2.5 MOE. Two-way matchups reflected in the poll were based on 300 voter samples and have a 4 percent MOE, Moreno said.

"My comment is I'm not going to comment on a poll in a hypothetical race that is two years away," Flores said, adding her focus is on the state budget and other legislative matters. "When the time is right, I'll make a decision on whether or not I am running for state Senate."

Llorente felt likewise. "This is certainly not the time to be focused on politics."

Moreno would not say who the client was, but said it was not paid for by Rivera, who provided the Buzz with a copy.

Moreno pointed to heavy support for Rivera among elderly voters, and attributed that to Rivera's strong anti-Cuba views. "In a Republican primary, the most likely voters are the Cuban elders," he said, adding that Rivera is also in the news more than his potential rivals.

"While this poll shows me to be the front-runner in this race, I intend on running a campaign like an underdog," Rivera said. "I appreciate the support of the voters in Senate District 38 and will work tirelessly to continue earning their support all the way to election day and beyond."

The Times/Herald also has contacted Llorente for comment.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:13pm]


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