With Florida’s primaries in the rearview mirror, Congressional Vulnerability Rankings Buzz has a new leader: U.S. Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who steps up our list after Republican Ross Spano loses his candidacy. to re-appointment. The loss of Spano, which follows a lengthy campaign finance investigation, gives Republicans a fresh start in their efforts to retain his seat in the Tampa Bay area.
This is the sixth consecutive cycle that Buzz has published assessments that rank Florida’s U.S. neighborhoods in descending order, starting with the most vulnerable. We define “vulnerable” as the probability that the opposing party will take control of the siege in 2020. Below is our first ranking since July 24 of the state’s most vulnerable congressional seats.
Delegation seats not listed below are not considered vulnerable at this time. One of the seats that didn’t make our list is the one that gets a lot of national media attention – the one in the Palm Beach area held by Democrat Lois Frankel, which is being challenged by Laura Loomer, a figure controversial right wing. Barring something unexpected, the District is simply too Democratic to support such a conservative candidate as Loomer.
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1st – District 26: Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) Previous: 2
Joe Biden may have a modest lead in Florida’s presidential race, but the most vulnerable House member is now a Democrat. In 2018, Mucarsel-Powell beat outgoing Republican Carlos Curbelo by 2 points in this heavily Cuban neighborhood of Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys. The district backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 16 points. Mucarsel-Powell has maintained her fundraising juggernaut: she has raised more than triple the amount raised by her Republican opponent, limited-time Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Mucarsel-Powell has $ 2.8 million dollars in cash, compared to only $ 833,000 for Giménez. Gimenez’s moderate profile and high identification make him a strong GOP recruit. And while Miami-Dade has been an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, the pandemic does not appear to have torpedoed Gimenez’s prospects. If anything, it gave him additional exposure in a leadership role. Yet Gimenez’s main victory was disappointing; he won a 60% to 40% victory over little-known and under-funded firefighter Omar Blanco. Miami-Dade will be bitterly contested by both parties at the presidential level; if Trump or Biden get the upper hand on turnout, that could determine who wins this race.
2nd – District 15: open seat (Rep. Ross Spano, R, was beaten in primary) Previous: 1
That race lost a spot in vulnerability after Spano’s main loss to Commissioner of Lakeland City and retired Naval Combatant Scott Franklin. Spano had won a vacant seat in 2018 in a district that had won Trump two years earlier by 10 points. But it later emerged that Spano had incorrectly accepted $ 180,000 in campaign donations from two friends, which led to an investigation by the US Department of Justice. Franklin narrowly beat Spano in the primary, 51% to 49%, allowing Republicans to present a candidate this fall with no ethical cloud. The primary also produced a somewhat unexpected outcome for Democrats, as former Sarasota TV reporter Alan Cohn, an unsuccessful 2014 seat candidate, won the nomination with 41 percent of the vote, ahead of the state representative. and Navy veteran Adam Hattersley, who had been something of an establishment favorite. The combination of the primary results of the two sides muddies the contest, but all sides act as if the race remains competitive for the fall. and both candidates will have to rebuild their war treasures after their expensive primaries.
3rd – District 27: Rep. Donna Shalala (D) Previous: 3
This contest has attracted considerably less attention recently than the race in the nearby neighborhood which involves Mucarsel-Powell. Shalala toppled this predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of Miami and Miami Beach when Republican incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retired in 2018, despite Shalala’s margin of victory (6 points) over the Spanish TV veteran, Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, was inferior to that of Hillary Clinton. in 2016 (19 points). Salazar is back for another round and easily won the GOP primary. (Frank Polo Sr. will also be on the ballot as an independent candidate.) Shalala has $ 1.8 million in cash, up from $ 1.2 million for Salazar, and after a wave of negative publicity in April – when Shalala had to excuse me for not declaring the stock transactions as required – the holder had a few months quieter. As with Gimenez in the neighboring district, Salazar will have to hope for plenty of ticket dividers in November – voters who choose Biden for president but Salazar for Congress.
4th – District 18: Rep. Brian Mast (R) Previous: 7
This contest has pushed our list up a bit and could climb even higher, depending on how the recent disclosures unfold. Mast, an army demining expert in Afghanistan who lost both legs below the knees, was re-elected in 2018 by 8 points in his Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district. But in late August, South Florida Sentinel of the Sun reported that Mast “joked about rape and referred to sex with 15-year-old girls in former Facebook comments to a friend who is now his campaign manager.” This has led to condemnations not only by Democrats, but also by fellow Republicans like Pierre Roger and Roy Moore. (Mast apologized to the Sun Sentinel, saying: “Ten years ago, when I was in the military, and following my injury, I made disgusting and inappropriate jokes that I am embarrassed to have associated with my name today. ‘hui. I feel sorry for this part of who I was, and I strive every day to be a better example for my children. The Democrats, for their part, had a slightly surprising result in their primary, as Pam Keith, a former Navy JAG officer who lost a 2018 Democratic primary for the seat, defeated Oz Vazquez, who was better funded and approved by the Florida Chapter of the AFL-CIO and former seat holder Democrat Patrick Murphy. Keith, who has a large social media following, beat Vazquez by a 4-1 margin. However, Mast has a big cash lead, from $ 1.8 million to $ 101,000, which gives him l benefit, as long as the social media controversy ends.
5th – District 16: Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) Previous: 4
Buchanan, a seven-term incumbent from a Sarasota-based district who backed Trump by 10 points in 2016, has been repeatedly targeted by Democrats, but thanks in part to his deep pockets, he survived. He is again favored in 2020; a internal survey taken at the end of August had raised it by 16 points. However, if Biden does as well among seniors and commuters as recent polls suggest, Buchanan will face headwinds. Buchanan’s opponent is Democrat Margaret Good, who won a special election in 2018 for a seat in the State House that straddles the district, beating Buchanan’s son James. Good has $ 1.04 million on hand – not shabby, but less than Buchanan’s $ 1.7 million. Good has pushed a message of moderation and bipartisanship, which seems to be the only credible strategy for this neighborhood.
6th – District 13: Representative Charlie Crist (D) Previous: 5
Crist, a Democrat who previously served as a Republican and Independent governor, continues to drag himself into this St. Petersburg-Clearwater seat. The only notable recent development came during the GOP multi-candidate primary, and that likely helped Crist, who had previously been a big favorite for re-election. Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force and Air National Guard veteran who proposed an aggressively pro-Trump approach, won the nomination, defeating a large number that included Amanda Makki, a former congressional aide whose family has emigrated from Iran and who had the backing of senior Republicans, including parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. A St. Pete Polls released after the primary had Crist topped Luna by 16 points, similar to his margin in 2018. Crist also far surpasses Luna in cash, by $ 3.1 million to $ 319,000.
7th – District 7: Representative Stephanie Murphy (D) Previous: 6
Murphy, a former American-Vietnamese refugee, has cemented her place as a rising figure in national Democratic circles. His Orlando-area district voted for Clinton by 7 points and is home to a large Democratic-leaning Puerto Rican population; she won in 2018 with an impressive margin of 16 points. Radiologist Leo Valentin, endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, narrowly won the GOP three-way primary over businessman Richard Goble, real estate investor Yukong Zhao finishing third. But Murphy showed few signs of vulnerability; she has over $ 1.4 million on hand, compared to $ 185,000 for Valentin. Perhaps just as important to Murphy is that she gained approval for the second consecutive cycle from the United States Chamber of Commerce, which in recent years has primarily supported Republicans. This should further bolster Murphy’s moderate credentials.