Making Al Boyd (D) pay for Cap and Tax - A look at FL-02

Florida 02 District Map

Florida 02

Incumbent Status

Incumbent: Rep. Allen Boyd, D

First Elected: 1996 (6th term)

Last Elected: 2008 (61.9%)

Incumbent Status: Running for re-election

2008 Results

Allen Boyd (D) – 215,627 – 61.9%

Mark Mulligan (R) – 132,555 – 38.1%

Current Funding

Boyd (D): Current Funds – $188,512

Lawson (D): Unreported

Fisher (R): Unreported

McKain (Whig): Unreported (I’m not making that up)

District Statistics (2000 Census)

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

2006 Results: Unopposed

Population: 639,295

Under 18: 22.8%, Over 65: 12.0%

Married: 51.3%

Non-Hispanic White: 72%, Black: 22%, Hispanic: 3%, Asian: 1%

Foreign Born: 3.7%, Language other than English: 6.5%

Median Household Income: 34,718, Owner Occupied Housing: 68.4%, Income above $200k: 1.4

White Collar: 61.7%, Blue Collar: 20.6%, Services: 17.7%

Bachelor’s Degree: 24%, Graduate Education: 9.8%

Civilian Veterans: 75,599

Party Contact Info

In Florida, the Republicans are organized by county, not district. The Florida Republican Party maintains ties with each Country organization. FL-02 includes Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Taylor, Suwannee, Lafayette, and Dixie counties.

Bay County web site

Jackson County web site

Calhoun County No Website available

Gulf County No Website available

Franklin County No Website available

Liberty County No Website available

Gadsden County web site

Leon County web site

Wakulla County web site

Taylor County No Website available

Suwannee County No Website available

Lafayette County No Website available

Dixie County web site

Florida GOP web site

**State Conservative Policy and Advocacy Organizations**

James Madison Institute – J. Robert McClure III, President

Foundation for Excellent in Education – Patricia W. Levesque, Executive Director (This is Jeb Bush’s organization)

Florida TaxWatch

FreedomWorks – Florida


I give the Republicans credit for at least running a candidate in 2008. It was a waste of time and money, but it showed some guts. This is a heavy majority Democrat district and outspent the Republican 20 to 1. This district includes both the state capitol and Florida State University, meaning both the public employees and academic employees are part of the electorate. Despite the heavy advantage in Democrat registration, the Cook Political Report rates this district R+1. This district DID vote for Bush in both 2000 (51-46) and 2004 (54-45). In 2008 that flipped to a 56-44 advantage to Obama, due exclusively to heavy turnout in Leon county alone (91,000 of Obama’s 158,000 votes), abetted by depressed Republican turn out over 2004 in the remaining counties. Note also that the black demographic of this district is also no different from FL-01, meaning that Obama did very well with whites in Leon County. The largest county is Leon, which includes Tallahassee. The second largest is Bay County which includes Panama City, and turned out for McCain 70-29. This is one of those districts that can be targeted with a good candidate. There are rumors that Boyd is considering running for Senate to take Martinez’s seat, which would leave this seat open. The demographics of the district are almost identical to FL-01, and the Democrat concentration is in a single (though highly populated) county (Leon). However, **ALL** of the other counties lean Republican, and their combined population does exceed that of Leon county. If looking for a strategy, then I would recommend finding ways to strengthen the Republican Party of Leon County and addressing the smaller counties, 7 of which have no website.

Since Boyd just voted for the Cap and Trade bill, this is a potential wedge issue that can be used against him. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath. There is a pretty strong belief in the Global Warming hoax in Florida. While north Florida is the lowest area of “concern” in the state, several polls still show a 29% “very concerned” response, with over 50% when including the “somewhat concerned” category. Additionally, Cap and Trade may be a job killer, but not in Leon County. This county has among the lowest unemployment in the state (around 5%, compared to 10% statewide). Mostly these people are state government employees.

The best chance of unseating Boyd is to get the counties other than Leon to rise up against him. These include the farming counties who will be hurt by rising fuel costs and the Panama City area that is hurting due to reduced tourism (people drive there from Alabama and Georgia). This is the strategy that the minority leader of the House, Al Lawson is using in the primary against Boyd. He is hitting Boyd hard for his vote on the stimulus and bailouts, calling him more interested in Wall Street than his district.

The biggest problem for the GOP is there don’t have a viable candidate. I was able to find no information at all on Fisher, and certainly no web site. This district can be won, especially in 2010 after a bruising Dem primary. But if the NRCC can’t recruit a strong candidate, this district will not change, despite the favorable conditions.