Ward Bake, executive director of National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent out a memo giving his analysis of the various U.S. Senate races in the 2016 election cycle. His analysis on Florida said that Rep. Jeff Miller and Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera “appear to be close to making a decision regarding the race.”
Florida: Republicans’ performance in years past demonstrate the historic success of Republicans statewide in Florida. Republicans have won the last four gubernatorial elections and Senator Rubio won the seat in 2010 by 19% of the vote. Furthermore, Florida Republicans are coming off an extremely successful 2014 cycle. In addition to Governor Rick Scott’s victory, the three other Republican members of the Florida Cabinet won reelection with margins ranging from 13% – 17.8%. Republicans picked up six seats to win a super-majority in the Florida House of Representatives as well. Republicans also hold 17 of the 27 U.S. House seats in Florida.
As the Rothenberg Gonzales Political Report recently pointed out, the last Democrat to win a Senate race not named Bill Nelson or Bob Graham was Lawton Chiles in 1982. The DSCC’s anointed candidate, Patrick Murphy, has little name ID outside of his home district and discontent among progressives could fuel a bitter primary in a state with 10 media markets. DNC Chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz specifically mentioned a number of Florida mayors as potential alternatives to Murphy. Also, the Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus is urging controversial Rep. Alan Grayson to enter the race.
Republicans won open Senate races in 2004 and 2010 and we’re confident that we will hold the seat in 2016. Republicans will have several options to choose from. Rep. Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy in May and Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Rep. Jeff Miller appear to be close to making a decision regarding the race.
Recent Polling: Public polling in Florida demonstrates two things conclusively: that none of the Republican or Democratic candidates are well known, and that Barack Obama’s approval rating is significantly inverted.