Donna Shalala has had a controversial week as she’s been slammed for accepting $2,000 and campaigning alongside California congresswoman, Barbara Lee, a Fidel Castro sympathizer who said, after Fidel Castro’s death, that she was “very sad for the Cuban people” and that “we need to stop and pause and mourn his loss.” Lee also praised Castro because she feels he “led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.” Lee detailed that Castro was a “smart man” that “wanted normal relations with the United States, but not at the expense of the accomplishments of the revolution.”
Shalala announced that she would not be returning Lee’s donation, and this is likely contributing to a negative effect in her campaign to replace retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th Congressional District seat.
In a new poll released this week by the Virginia-based firm McLaughlin & Associates, Shalala’s Republican opponent, Maria Elvira Salazar, is up nine points, receiving 50% of the votes to Donna Shalala’s 41%.
Commenting on the votes, the firm said that “The dynamics of this race are unchanged, as Maria Elvira Salazar is ahead and her lead is driven by her strong personal popularity.”
In response to the research, Salazar commented that “I am honored by all the support we are receiving. The results of this latest poll clearly show the confidence the voters have in my ability to lead on the important issues that matter most to our community. Our hard work continues to ensure the priorities and concerns of District 27 are heard in Washington.”
Shalala has been blasted for not understanding the community she seeks to represent, and the message seems to be resonating with the constituents.
For the poll, McLaughlin & Associates surveyed 400 registered voters in Florida’s 27th Congressional District from October 11th to October 14th.
Shalala has not responded to the poll.