Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Kerry Leads In Miami-Dade

John Kerry has a huge lead in Miami-Dade County, according to the Miami Herald and the Zogby International poll.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry holds a comfortable lead among Miami-Dade County voters, much as former Vice President Al Gore did in 2000, a Herald poll shows.

The biggest exception is the Cuban-American vote, which still overwhelmingly favors President Bush.

The poll, conducted for The Herald by Zogby International, shows Kerry favored by 54 percent to Bush’s 41 percent. But among Cuban Americans, a voting bloc targeted by the Democrats, nearly 79 percent say they back Bush.


For the poll, 750 likely voters were called from Oct. 22 through Oct. 25. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for the full poll, and higher for subgroups. Zogby, whose company is based in Utica, NY, said about 10 percent of the poll workers were fluent in Spanish.

Miami-Dade, the most populated county in this important swing state, has been the focus of a political battle, with both Kerry and Bush visiting repeatedly during the past few months. Even a slight alteration in voting patterns could affect the outcome of the election in Florida, which decided the 2000 presidential race by 537 votes.

In Miami-Dade County in 2000, 53 percent of voters cast ballots for Gore and 46 percent for Bush. Zogby’s poll shows those numbers remain almost the same.

Among Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade, nearly 79 percent say they favor Bush. That also falls close to the 2000 total, when just over 80 percent of Cuban Americans voted for Bush.


Mike Melnick, a Jewish voter from North Miami Beach, said he was planning to vote for Kerry because Bush didn’t have a grasp of the complex issues that threaten the middle class.

“I don’t think we can be in worse shape,” Melnick said. “Kerry understands the issues, and he’s addressing the issues important to the middle class.”

The poll shows Jewish voters in Miami-Dade County supporting Kerry 82 percent to 15 percent, a larger margin than Cuban Americans supporting Bush. Zogby said Bush had failed to make inroads with the Jewish vote.

Anecdotally, things look good for Kerry in places where you wouldn’t think they would. In uppper-middle-class neighborhoods in Miami like Coral Gables and Pinecrest where you would normally expect to find solid Republican support, the battle of the yard signs is 50-50, sometimes alternating house to house. If bumperstickers are any guide, the number of cars with Kerry-Edwards stickers is surprisingly high in those neighborhoods as well. Now if we can just make sure the ballots are counted.