A look at all of Florida's House races

The other day I posted an in depth look at Florida 16. With this diary entry, I’m going to take a broader look at all of Florida’s 25 congressional districts. Some of these will beg for additional analysis like I did for Florida-16, which I will try to do over the next week or so.

I am hoping to use this diary entry as a spot to maintain updates on each of the races, over time.

All graphics of congressional districts sourced from 2008Racetracker.com

Florida is currently represented in congress by 16 Republican and 9 Democrat representatives. Bill Nelson-D and Mel Martinez-R are our Senators, neither of which are up for reelection this year. Our governor is Charlie Crist-R who is also not up for reelection. The highest profile non-politician is Jeb Bush-R who is the former governor and not holding (or running for) any office currently. Jeb Bush is immensely popular in Florida.

The statewide party affiliation is:

Republican: 2006- 3.9M 2008- 3.9M Delta- (0.8)%

Democrat: 2006- 4.2M 2008- 4.3M Delta- 2.6%

Independent: 2006- 2.3M 2008- 2.3M Delta- (0.4)%

Total: 2006- 10.4M 2008- 10.5M Delta- 0.7%

Note that while Florida has slightly more Democrats than Republicans, they are concentrated in 7 districts (02, 03, 11, 17, 19, 20, and 23) that all have 50% or higher Democrat registration. Only two districts are similarly strong for the Republicans (01 and 14) with 49% Republican registration. Most other districts have slight Republican majorities, usually about 42%R to 37%D. This means that Florida can theoretically be put in play for Democrats in a state-wide or presidential election, but district by district, Republicans will tend to hold the majority of congressional and legislature representation.

Florida 01

Florida 01 District Map

Incumbent: Jeff Miller-R

Challengers: Jim Bryan-D

2006 Voter Registration: 35D/49R/16I

2006 Results: 68%/32%

2008 Funding Status: Miller ($245K), Bryan (Unreported)

Analysis: Miller has held this seat since 2001, when he replaced “Mornin Joe” Scarborough. Jim Bryan is a new opponent, and likely to suffer the same embarrassing drubbing as the 2006 opponent. Call this a safe Republican district.

Florida 02

Florida 02 District Map

Incumbent: Allen Boyd-D

Challengers: Eddie Hendry-R, Mark Mulligan-R, Robert Ortiz-R

2006 Voter Registration: 55D/32R/13I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Boyd ($975K), Hendry ($13K), Mulligan ($16K), Ortiz (Unreported)

Analysis: I’ll give the Republicans credit for at least running a candidate this year. It is a waste of time and money, but it shows some guts. This is a heavy majority Democrat district with an incumbent holding a 100 to 1 money advantage. Who knew that Panama City strippers vote? This will be a safe Democrat district this year.

Florida 03

Florida 03 District Map

Incumbent: Corrine Brown-D

Challengers: Unopposed

2006 Voter Registration: 62D/19R/19I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Brown ($473K)

Analysis: Pretty cool when you can have campaign cash on hand, and no opponent. But what do you expect from a gerrymandered district that manages to include both moonbat central in Gainsville and the southern areas of Jacksonville? Obviously a safe Democrat district.

Florida 04

Florida 04 District Map

Incumbent: Ander Crenshaw-R

Challengers: Jay McGovern-D

2006 Voter Registration: 40D/43R/17I

2006 Results: 70%/30%

2008 Funding Status: Crenshaw ($539K), McGovern ($55K)

Analysis: Crenshaw has held this seat since 2000. Even though the district is pretty evenly split in party affiliation, the 10 to 1 cash advantage Crenshaw holds will make this an easy retention. This is a textbook example of Jay Cost’s model, for the challenger to get enough name recognition, they have to seriously over spend the incumbent. McGovern doesn’t have the money. This is a safe Republican district.

Florida 05

Florida 05 District Map

Incumbent: Ginny Brown-Waite-R

Challengers: “Grandma Carol” Castagnero-D, John Russell-D, Dave Werder-D

2006 Voter Registration: 37D/42R/21I

2006 Results: 60%/40%

2008 Funding Status: Brown-Waite ($480K), Castagnero ($12K), Russell ($14K), Werder (Unreported)

Analysis: Similar to the Florida 04 race, the demographics and funding situations are almost identical. I’m sorry to break it to “Grandma” but this is a safe Republican district.

Florida 06

Florida 06 District Map

Incumbent: Cliff Stearns-R

Challengers: Tim Cunha-D

2006 Voter Registration: 39D/42R/19I

2006 Results: 60%/40%

2008 Funding Status: Stearns ($578K), Cunha ($162K)

Analysis: This is a race I probably need to do a deeper analysis on. Stearns has a significant funding advantage, which usually will carry the day. However, $162K isn’t chump change. For now call this probably safe Republican district.

Florida 07

Florida 07 District Map

Incumbent: John Mica-R

Challengers: Faye Armitage-D, James Malloy-D

2006 Voter Registration: 35D/43R/22I

2006 Results: 63%/37%

2008 Funding Status: Mica ($894K), Armitage ($0), Malloy ($10K)

Analysis: John Mica has been representing FL-07 since 1992, before the 94 revolution. He will continue to hold this district until he decides to retire. Of course, we used to say that about Foley too. This is a safe Republican district.

Florida 08

Florida 08 District Map

Incumbent: Ric Keller-R

Challengers: Todd Long-R, Alexander Fry-D, Alan Grayson-D, Mike Smith-D, Charlie Stuart-D, Quoc Ba Van-D

2006 Voter Registration: 34D/39R/27I

2006 Results: 53%/46%

2008 Funding Status: Keller ($1,015K), Long ($248K), Fry ($21K), Grayson($685K), Smith ($517K), Stuart ($639K), Van ($3K)

Analysis: This is an ugly race being fought in the northern suburbs of Orlando where Republicans hold a narrow registration edge. Ric Keller promised to term limit himself and broke that promise by deciding to run again this year. As a result, he has a primary challenger (a radio host) and a slew of well funded Democrat challengers. For the record, I view self imposed term limit promises to be dumb. I see no reason to unilaterally disarm. Daily KOS is tracking this race and the Dems smell an opportunity. I’ll definitely need to do more detailed analysis of this race. For now I will call this a possible Democrat pickup.

Florida 09

Florida 09 District Map

Incumbent: Gus Bilirakis-R

Challengers: Anita de Palma-D, John Dicks-D, Bill Mitchell-D, Richard Emmons-I, John Kalimnos-I

2006 Voter Registration: 34D/42R/24I

2006 Results: 56%/44%

2008 Funding Status: Bilirakis ($1,070), de Palma (Unreported), Dicks ($424K), Mitchell ($75K), Emmons ($9K), Kalimnos (Unreported)

Analysis: Bilirakis is a first term congressman, running in his first reelection. He represents the farming communities in central Florida east of Tampa and the coastal communities north of St. Petersburg. He won in 2006 pretty easily, despite being his first campaign. I suspect the well funded challenger is because John Dicks is the former mayor of Plant City and has money left over from previous campaigns. He probably also sees Bilirakis as weak because he is a first termer. I’ll try to take a closer look at this race later, but for now I’ll call it probably safe Republican.

Florida 10

Florida 10 District Map

Incumbent: Bill Young-R

Challengers: Bob Hackworth-D, Denise Simpson-D, Max Linn-D,Alaskan Independence,former Reform(2006)

2006 Voter Registration: 36D/40R/24I

2006 Results: 66%/34%

2008 Funding Status: Young ($562K), Hackworth ($71K), Simpson ($22K), Linn ($368K)

Analysis: Bill Young isn’t really all that young. He has represented the citizens of St. Petersburg since 1970. Of course his constituents all call him “junior” (My parents live in this district, I’m telling you St. Pete is God’s waiting room). I’ll probably dig into this district later, just to get a laugh over a guy running for “Alaskan Independence”, but in the meantime ignore how close he is in funding. Bill Young doesn’t need much money to win. Heck his constituents don’t even have cable yet, much less Internet. This is a safe Republican district. Interestingly Daily KOS is all over this race, and running hot and cold over whether they can win it or not. Not that anyone in this district has a freaking clue what DKOS is. Heck, some of the residents haven’t even noticed that the northern part of the district doesn’t touch the southern part (Hi Mom!).

Florida 11

Florida 11 District Map

Incumbent: Kathy Castor-D

Challengers: Eddie Adams-R

2006 Voter Registration: 51D/26R/23I

2006 Results: 70%/30%

2008 Funding Status: Castor ($448K), Adams ($33K)

Analysis: Castor is a first term congresswoman representing Tampa. All you need to look at is the 51% Democrat registration numbers to see that she will be a second termer too. This is a safe Democrat district.

Florida 12

Florida 12 District Map

Incumbent: Adam Putnam-R

Challengers: Doug Tudor

2006 Voter Registration: 41D/38R/21I

2006 Results: 70%/30% (challenger was 3rd party, no Dem)

2008 Funding Status: Putnam ($1,365K), Tudor (Unreported)

Analysis: Putnam has been representing this district since 2000. This district runs from the eastern suburbs of Tampa out into the farm country of Polk county. While this is one of those odd districts with a small Democrat majority, Putnam has a lot of cash on hand to crush his challenger again (just like in 2006). This is a safe Republican district.

Florida 13

Florida 13 District Map

Incumbent: Vern Buchanan-R

Challengers: Christine Jennings-D

2006 Voter Registration: 32D/45R/23I

2006 Results: 50.1%/49.9%

2008 Funding Status: Buchanan ($2,953K), Jennings ($1,517K)

Analysis: This district includes Sarasota/Bradenton/Palmetto (The home of Southeastern Guidedogs, woo hoo!) and is located south of Tampa/St. Pete. It is a heavily Republican district, which was a very narrow hold in 2006 when Buchanan won his first term. This year is a rematch against Jennings, who apparently wasn’t happy about her razor thin loss in 2006. She has a lot of money to spend. But Buchanan has twice as much. I’ll take a closer look at this race later, but I expect that the Jay Cost model is going to play out here. Incumbent + party affiliation + money = victory, expect this to be a safe Republican district.

Florida 14

Florida 14 District Map

Incumbent: Connie Mack-R

Challengers: Larry Byrnes-D, Robert Neeld-D, Jeff George-I, Burt Saunders-I

2006 Voter Registration: 27D/49R/24I

2006 Results: 64%/36%

2008 Funding Status: Mack ($1,076), Byrnes ($68K), Neeld ($10K), George ($15K), Saunders ($64K)

Analysis: Cornelius McGillicuddy (I’d go by Connie Mack too) is running for his 3rd term. He’s going to get it. This is the Fort Myers/Naples area which is on the southern border of FL-16. Expect this to be such an easy election that Connie Mack will help the FL-16 candidate in the GOTV effort in Port Charlotte (See the FL-16 analysis). This is a safe Republican district.

Florida 15

Florida 15 District Map

Incumbent: Open

Challengers: Steve Blythe-D, Paul Rancatore-D, Alan Bergman-R, Kevin Lehoulier-R, Trevor Lowing-R, Bill Posey-R

2006 Voter Registration: 36D/43R/21I

2006 Results: 56%/44% (Dave Weldon-R wins)

2008 Funding Status: Blythe ($39K), Rancatore ($53K), Bergman ($2K), Lehoullier (Unreported), Lowing (Unreported), Posey ($487K)

Analysis: This is my district, the southern half of Brevard County (Space Coast) down to Indian River County (Treasure Coast) and across the swamps to Kissimmee (Cheap Disney Hotel Coast). Dave Weldon has been our representative since the 94 revolution and I was shocked by his decision to retire. I was so shocked that I blocked it out and COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT until I started doing this race analysis. So this morning I spent time frantically looking at web sites to figure out who the heck I’m going to be voting for in November. Finally I found out that Bill Posey is running, who has been a State Senator for a long time. I’m a little surprised that it isn’t Mike Haridopolis, since he is a young up and comer, but Posey is respected and will win easily. In 2004 Brevard county was the reddest of all the red counties in Florida, so this seat will remain safely Republican.

Florida 16

Florida 16 District Map

Incumbent: Tim Mahoney-D

Challengers: Gayle Harrell-R, Tom Rooney-R, Hal Valeche-R

2006 Voter Registration: 36D/42R/22I

2006 Results: 49%/48% (Foley loses after scandal/resignation, but name still on ballot)

2008 Funding Status: Mahoney ($2,469K), Harrell ($645K), Rooney ($738K), Valeche ($1,054K)

Analysis: This is Mark Foley’s old seat and expect a lot of money to be spent here. As you can see from the funding, a lot of money is flowing in from both sides. Expect a lot more to pour in once the challenger is decided on August 26th. I have a detailed look at this race here. Tom Rooney is Redstate endorsed (so help him by sending some money, he is behind in fund raising). I’m sticking with my detailed analysis and calling this a likely Republican pickup.

Florida 17

Florida 17 District Map

Incumbent: Kendrick Meek-D

Challengers: Margaret Trowe-Socialist Workers Party

2006 Voter Registration: 69D/12R/19I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Meek ($1,256K), Trowe (Unreported)

Analysis: Ah, now we get into the South Florida districts. Sun, sand, hot oiled bodies, topless South Beach tanning, Crockett and Tubbs. Oh yeah, they have elections too. Not sure why they bother with it in Florida-17 though. Might as well just save us the money and give it to Meeks. When your only opponent is even MORE of a leftist than you are, then there really isn’t a chance you are going to lose. This is a safe Democrat district.

Florida 18

Florida 18 District Map

Incumbent: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen-R

Challengers: Annette Taddeo-D

2006 Voter Registration: 34D/41R/26I

2006 Results: 62%/28%

2008 Funding Status: Ros-Lehtinen ($1,181), Taddeo ($644K)

Analysis: Ileana has held this seat since 1989, and is one of the three Cuban Community representatives. These three take great pride in crushing their opponents, bragging when they outspend them 50 to 1. They also enjoy very high voter turnout among the Cubans. Yes her opponent has a good pile of cash, but it won’t matter. I’ll be happy to tag along for the Key West campaign events though. This is a safe Republican district.

Florida 19

Florida 19 District Map

Incumbent: Robert Wexler-D

Challengers: Edward Lynch-R, Ben Graber-I

2006 Voter Registration: 50D/26R/24I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Wexler ($1,992K), Lynch ($133K), Graber ($299)

Analysis: Yeah, this is that Wexler. I despise him too, but he is going to cruise to victory. God knows what he needs that pile of cash for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him Schultz, and Hastings to find ways to use it to help out Mahoney in FL-16 or even Klein in FL-22. This is a safe Democrat district.

Florida 20

Florida 20 District Map

Incumbent: Debbie Wasserman Schultz-D

Challengers: Margaret Hostetter-I

2006 Voter Registration: 49D/27R/24I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Schultz ($1,188K), Hostetter ($7K)

Analysis: Schultz will be virtually unopposed this year, just like in 2006. Like Waxman, she is sitting on a pile of cash she doesn’t need. I’d worry a lot about where that money will go. This is a safe Democrat district.

Florida 21

Florida 21 District Map

Incumbent: Lincoln Diaz-Balart-R

Challengers: Raul Martinez-D

2006 Voter Registration: 34D/41R/26I

2006 Results: 67%/33%

2008 Funding Status: Diaz-Balart ($1,551), Martinez ($1,219K)

Analysis: Diaz-Balart is the second of our Cuban triumvirate. He has represented this district since 1992 and out spent his last challenger 58 to 1. Apparently, these crushing defeats annoyed someone, since he has a well funded challenge this year. I’ll look into this race in detail, but for now I’m calling this a safe Republican seat due to party registration advantage and being so well known in his district.

Florida 22

Florida 22 District Map

Incumbent: Ron Klein-D

Challengers: Paul Renneisen-D, Allen West-R

2006 Voter Registration: 35D/40R/25I

2006 Results: 51%/47%

2008 Funding Status: Klein ($3,168K), Renneisen ($46K), West ($259K)

Analysis: Yeah you read that right. Klein has over $3 million to spend on this campaign. He is running against LTC West, who famously discharged a firearm while interrogating a prisoner in Iraq. Expect Klein to spend some of that pile of cash on negative campaign ads reminding people of that incident. You can see why Klein has so much money for this race. He is a first term congressman, running against a black Republican in a majority Republican district. He is going to need the money. Unfortunately, he has more than enough. This seat could be flipped, but it will cost a couple million to do it. The RCCC isn’t going to spend the money, when they could spend less in other districts with better return. West’s only chance is some private donors running a 527 supporting him. I’ll look closer at this race later, but for now I’m calling it a probable Democratic retention.

Florida 23

Florida 23 District Map

Incumbent: Alcee Hastings-D

Challengers: Ray Sanchez-D, Marion Thorpe-R

2006 Voter Registration: 64D/16R/20I

2006 Results: Unopposed

2008 Funding Status: Hastings ($584K), Sanchez ($22K), Thorpe ($23K)

Analysis: Alcee Hastings, representing cell block-27 and Florida-23, has the distinction of being an actually impeached judge, who has been representing this district since 1992. This district is going to keep sending him to congress until he decides to retire. I feel sorry for the portion of St. Lucie county that has to keep seeing his name on the ballot. This is a safe Democrat district.

Florida 24

Florida 24 District Map

Incumbent: Tom Feeney-R

Challengers: Gary Bhola-D, Clint Curtis-D, Suzanne Kosmas-D, Jason Davis-R

2006 Voter Registration: 34D/42R/24I

2006 Results: 58%/42%

2008 Funding Status: Feeney ($1,405K), Bhola ($6K), Curtis ($67K), Kosmas ($1,149K)

Analysis: Feeney is strong in this district, much to the dismay of the Orlando Sentinel. This would be a safe district under normal circumstances, but Feeney was tarred with the Jack Abramoff brush. Also Kosmas has a lot of her own money to put into the race, though she isn’t squeaky clean either, having had her own local real estate scandal to deal with. She is also a long time state lawmaker, and well known. I’ll take a detailed look at this race later, but for now I’m calling it a probable Republican retention, since this is a strongly Republican district.

Florida 25

Florida 25 District Map

Incumbent: Mario Diaz-Balart-R

Challengers: Joe Garcia-D

2006 Voter Registration: 33D/40R/27I

2006 Results: 59%/41%

2008 Funding Status: Diaz-Balart ($1,111K), Garcia ($844K)

Analysis: Diaz-Balart is the third member of the “Cuban 3” and represents a district that is the far west side of Miami and most of the Everglades. Unfortunately, alligators can’t contribute money to campaigns, so Diaz-Balart will fight against a well funded opponent for once. He has been in Congress since 2002 and should be able to keep the seat. I’ll be taking a closer look at this race later, along with the others of the Cuban 3, since their opponents are all well funding for once. For now, I’ll call this a probable Republican retention

Final Analysis:

At this point, I expect that Florida will be a wash. Florida 08 has a good chance of flipping to Democrat and Florida 16 has a good chance of flipping to Republican. The Democrats are going to need to look elsewhere for their 70 seat pickup.

Sources used: 2008Racetracker.com, thegreenpapers.com