July 24, 2016

Florida Politics

Seats Up for Grabs

A move away from partisan politics is stroking heated congressional battles and spelling trouble for incumbents across Florida. Here's a roundup.

Amy Keller | 6/1/2008
District: 8 | 13 | 15 | 16 | 21 | 24 | South Fla.

The battle by presidential candidates for Florida’s 27 electoral votes is not the only political drama playing out in the Sunshine State. Florida’s down-ballot action includes almost half a dozen hot congressional races worth watching.

seal The biggest trend at play in those races, and indeed, overall in Florida, in the current election cycle is the so-called “purpling” of Florida’s voters — the increasing inclination of voters to position themselves somewhere between Republican red and Democrat blue.

The number of registered Florida voters who are not affiliated with either major party has increased from just 5.4% of the electorate in 1978 to more than 21% this year. Florida is home to 3.8 million registered Republicans and 4.2 million registered Democrats, but some 2.2 million voters in the Sunshine State are now registered neither as Democrat nor Republican — and those 2.2 million cast an element of uncertainty over today’s contests.

Hot State Race Roundup 2008
We examine a dozen Florida races where the competition is starting to heat up.
Polling data suggests those voters tend to identify themselves as moderates and are for the most part swing voters who are willing to vote either way. “I see them as more interesting now than in the past. If they mobilize and get out, it will be hard to predict a lot of the races that are coming up,” says Marian Johnson, vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, Republicans hold 16 of Florida’s 25 U.S. House seats. But with only one incumbent Democrat in any real danger of losing — freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney — Democrats have far more to gain in this year’s election than Republicans. In fact, if they hold Mahoney’s seat and manage to pick up four GOP seats, they’ll hold the delegation’s balance of power. Republican victories in all the races mentioned below would give the GOP a nine-seat advantage in the state.

Tags: Politics & Law, Around Florida, Government/Politics & Law

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