| Research 2000 for Daily Kos (9/23-25, likely voters, no trendlines):
Annette Taddeo (D): 36
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-inc): 53
Difficult numbers for Taddeo, but the only other public poll (by Bendixen & Associates) showed her 27 points back in July, so this is certainly a good bit better. As is often the case with first-time candidates who haven't yet hit the airwaves, Taddeo is still unknown by a sizable chunk of the populace (30%), so she has room to grow. (And the good news is that she just went up on the air a few days ago, with both English and Spanish TV and radio ads.) Ros-Lehtinen, meanwhile, has only a so-so 49-37 approval rating.
The biggest question mark about this poll is the sample. It's 62% white and 31% Hispanic. While census data is often quite different from voter turnout data, this district is just 28% Anglo (ie, non-Hispanic whites). It's possible that some Hispanics (especially Cubans, I'm told) do indeed self-identify as white, so that might be part of the explanation.
This is actually a rather thorny issue in a district like this. A knowledgeable source tells me that a more likely turnout model would be 52% Hispanic and 40% white - and that it's also crucial for pollsters to filter respondents on a more fine-grained level. That's because Cuban vs. non-Cuban Hispanics have very different voting patterns in South Florida (the former are far more pro-GOP). The proper way to go about this is to ask the people you call about their (or their ancestors') country of origin, and it's not clear whether R2K did this.
Regardless, Hispanic and white performance in this poll was pretty similar. Annette Taddeo definitely has her work cut out for her. But remember - R2K did a poll almost exactly two years ago which showed Paul Hodes down by 25 points, so this race is definitely far from over.