Posts tagged Some Guys
Notes from the closing session of RootsCamp 2012, “Some Guy Candidates: How they Delay Progress & How to Make Them Suck Less.”
You can find some background here: ‘Some Guy’ vs Contender – which are you?
Reviewing, the basics of the ‘Some Guy’ candidate: Lacks money, social network and the experience/understanding of how to be a candidate.
We talked about the common ways ‘Some Guys‘ push back – blaming the system, proclaiming too much purity to be sullied by doing the work, and of course attacking those that try to help them.
We explored the common motivations of ‘Some Guy‘ candidates, that they typically have a high degree of ideological (or egocentric) resolve. This means that if you are trying to move a ‘some guy‘ out of a race, you better have an idealistic win-win proposals for them, the right advocate to make the case and an expectation that their resolve is much stronger than rational logic can conquer.
As an idealist, I admire the confident idealism of these candidates. But, I’m also a strategist – one that recognizes that these candidates running on sheer idealism are hurting the progressive movement and damaging the Democratic party brand.
The best thing you can do to help these candidates is get them to attend a Democracy for America Training, like the ones coming up in Miami (March 17-18) or Gainesville (March 24-25). The DFA Training program is a comprehensive overview of campaigning designed to help people at all levels of experience and engagement. Whether you are a 5 hour a week activist/volunteer, full time staff to a candidate running for office, the DFA Training Academy will make you more effective. The DFA Training Manual (provided to Academy attendees or purchased direct from DFA) is also a fantastic resource that you will use day after day throughout your adventures in campaign politics.
After they attend the training, the next step is rule #9 again, If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist. This means writing a landscape memo and campaign plan (and all the component parts, field, finance and communications). Somewhere in the midst of this process, if not sooner, the (former?) ‘Some Guy‘ candidate should begin to recognize that the water is way over their head. This is the best time to do a ‘right size’ analysis. Very few candidates should be running for Congress the first time out. State House, State Senate and city/county offices are much more attainable and can help build the foundation for a later campaign for Congress. This is also the point that we should remember that local offices hold the most power.
Long term, ‘Some Guy‘ candidates need to work to expand their social networks (offline more than online). This means reaching out to like minded organizations, attending meetings and conventions, building relationships and working to earn media. This process can also serve to help (future) candidates improve their campaign skills without the pressures of an impending election. If you are not certain three hundred people will give your campaign money in the first 30 days, you aren’t ready to run for Congress. Write down the list.
It was a great discussion, thanks to all who attended.
Now in a single handy post. An analysis from the prospective of progressive Democrats of the newly drawn US House district boundaries in Florida. Despite Florida voters passing Amendments Five (State) and Six (Federal) in 2010 (Fair Districts), the new map is rife with partisan gerrymandering. Who cares about the wishes of the people when the RPOF has super majorities? Data for Obama/McCain, Sink/Scott, party registration and racial composition is pulled from the Orlando Sentinel.
UPDATE: DailyKos Elections put together a great grid of information here.
My prediction is that 6-8 years from now, this redistricting process will be seen as a drastic overreach that blew up in the face of the RPOF.
Updates will be inserted as they are available – consider this a living document. Please email us with missing information.
US House District 1: Resembles the old first district, is composed of the western half of the panhandle. This is a strong Republican seat with over 50% Republican registration. John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign and Rick Scott’s 2010 Gubernatorial campaign both pulled in well over 60% of the vote in this district.
Incumbent Republican Rep. Jeff Miller isn’t expected to face serious opposition. A variety of ‘some guys‘ have filed.
US House District 2: This seat resembles the old second district, composed of the eastern half of the panhandle with Tallahassee composing a huge chunk of the population. Democratic registration is over 54%, but this isn’t the super safe territory that would imply. Obama took just 47% of the vote here, bested by McCain’s 52%. Alex Sink fared better versus Rick Scott, netting a 52% to 45% victory. Prior to 2010, this seat was held by Conservative Blue Dog Democrat Allen Boyd. With a strong minority population (23.5 Black, 5% Hispanic) this seat is absolutely winnable by a progressive Democratic candidate. It should end up in Democratic hands in 2012. With a strong campaign effort and help down ticket, Barack Obama could win this district in 2012.
Incumbent Republican Steve Southerland will seek re-election and a gaggle of Democrats have already jumped in the fray to challenge him for this enticing seat. State Rep. Leonard Bembry, Former Bay County Democratic Chair/Lawyer Alvin Peters, and Environmental Activist Jay Liles are in, rumors of additional candidates exist.
Ex-Republican Nancy Argenziano, former State Senator, former State Rep and former Charlie Crist appointed Public Service Commissioner and party revolution activist first indicated she might seek the seat as a Democrat last summer, but has filed for the seat as an Independent. Argenziano is seeking State House instead of US House.
US House District 3: A gigantic swath of land spanning from the Gulf Coast to the Saint Johns river just outside Jacksonville, this seat is absolutely criminal. It skirts around a variety of cities, avoiding urban/minority populations and progressive neighborhoods. The intent appears to be to drown out the Yellow Dog Democratsthat dominate this region with rural and suburban engaged conservative voters. Democrats outnumber Republicans in registration, 43.5% to 39% but neither Obama (39.5%) nor Sink (40.5%) performed in line with the registration. This district combines parts of the old 4th, 5th, and 6th districts, all of which were held by Republicans in 2010 and prior.
If Sink’s performance was slightly better, this would be easily identified as a ripe target for Democrats, but at 40.5% it was pretty abysmal, only 1% better than Obama’s in 2008. However, Sink’s campaign was horrific statewide and lacked any field effort in these rural counties. There was no support down ticket in this region in 2010 and Rick Scott funded a heavy field operation throughout these rural counties. My conclusion is that this is territory we should be working for aggressively in 2012 and beyond. If we fielded quality candidates at the State House, State Senate and US House levels for (several) consecutive cycles, we could likely revive the Yellow Dog base that already exists and turn this region of the state at least purple.
Incumbent Republican women hating Rep. Cliff Sterns has announced he will seek this seat in 2012, joining a primary adventure with Clay County Clerk of Court James Jett and State Senator/Former Alachua Sheriff Steve Oelrich and one or more some guys.
Jett announced that Stearns and associates made attempts to bribe him out of the race. Jett turned over recordings to the FBI and Lt. Gov Jennifer Carroll is rumored to be implicated in the corruption.
US House District 4: This seat resembles the old district 4, wrapping around Jacksonville while avoiding Democratic neighborhoods and minorities as much as possible. Currently held by Republicans, likely to remain so with a 10.5% registration advantage and the history of both McCain and Scott breaking 60% in the district.
Incumbent Republican Ander Crenshaw will seek re-election here, a parade of some guys may or may not challenge him the primary and/or general election.
US House District 5: Possibly the most criminally gerrymandered seat in Florida, though not really any worse than it’s former incarnation as District 3. Held by long time Democratic Representative Corrine Brown, this is a majority-minority seat (49% Black, 11% Hispanic) that stretches from Jacksonville to Gainesville and then down to Orlando’s urban community. Don’t think it is criminal? There are multiple places where you can stand and have this district North, South, East and West of you, while not being in this district. Conversely you can say the same about some of the districts that are wrapped around the 3rd. There is no reasonable argument that this district is compact. It at times gets narrow enough to be filled with a moderate sized high school marching band (though some of them would need to be on rafts) and expanding as wide as is needed to pack in large urban/Democratic populations. This is what ‘packing’ is all about. Make adjacent districts better for the opposing Republican Party by packing as many Democrats in to one district as is possible. As it is constructed, 60.5% of registered voters are Democrats, Obama cleared 70% and Sink mustered a healthy 65%. I’m all for honoring the Voting Rights Act (VRA) but we must also preserve compact and contiguous communities – it isn’t either or, we can do both. If this district were redrawn honoring the intent of Amendment 6, it is extremely likely there would more more opportunity for minority representation and CERTAIN that the region would be better represented in Congress.
US House District 6: This is primarily what used to be the 7th Congressional district. The Atlantic coast from just south of Jacksonville, including St. Johns, Flagler, and Volusia counties. Incumbent John Mica is redistricted out, joining his two friends from Winter Park in a game of ‘which seat looks best?’ Mica announced recently he will run in the new 7th District, which lines him up for a primary with Representative Sandy Adams. The open 6th district is pretty tough territory for Democrats, with a 40% to 36.5% Republican registration advantage and decent performance numbers from both McCain (53.4%) and Scott (54.6%). Though to be fair, in neither 2008 nor 2010 was there much effort by challenger campaigns in these counties. This seat is well within range to be picked up with a 2-3 cycle effort and with the right circumstances it could be won by Obama and a strong Democratic challenger candidate in 2012.
The lack of major media markets within the district make it more challenging, like much of Florida this seat will require an expensive and high quality field effort to be flipped.
Craig Miller recently dropped his US Senate bid to run for this open seat, he has been joined in the primary by a Jacksonville area lawyer/Iraq Vet Ron DeSantis and more are expected to join the fray. Several Democrats have expressed interest in running for this seat, only Vipin Verma is currently filed for the old 7th (who?) and will presumably refile for the new 6th where he lives.
State Rep Fred Costello (Ormond Beach) is also running as a Republican. Jacksonville City Councilman Richard Clark joins the Republican Primary, a graduate of Nease High School but currently resides in Jacksonville. He asserted he would only return to St. Johns if elected, maintaining his status on the Jacksonville City Council in the mean time.
If you are a progressive Democratic candidate already filed or considering running for US House, please contact us ASAP.
US House District 7: Comprised of the suburbs north and east of Orlando, including Winter Park (current home to three Members of Congress). Rep. John Mica and Rep. Sandy Adams have both already announced to seek this seat, setting up a establishment powerhouse versus Tea Party darling primary.
The data shows this to be one of the most competitive seats in the state, with McCain having edged Obama 49.9% to 49.1%. Registration is a 39.4% to 35% Republican advantage. A fairly affluent and overwhelmingly (70%) white district, there is also a sizable and growing Hispanic population (17%). Scott bested Sink 50.5% to 45.6%, more a sign of Sink’s abysmal campaign and Scott’s strength than a shift in voter behavior.
This is an incredible opportunity for a challenger candidate to join the fray and take a seat the RPOF is counting on and put it in play. Nick Ruiz III, endorsed by Blue America is seeking the seat as a Democrat. Mr. Ruiz ran for the 24th district as an NPA/3rd Party candidate in 2010. He raised no money in 2010 and is on a track to raise only slightly more despite the Blue America endorsement in 2012. Ruiz is a fountain of great progressive policy, but doesn’t appear to have any understanding of campaigns, elections or politics as a whole – i$ he ever going to get it? As of yet, I am unaware of any serious Democratic candidates for this race, do you have any ideas?
Jason Kendall has also announced to run for District 7 as a self professed Blue Dog Democrat. He has an impressive education in diplomacy and policy but no real indicators about his capacity as a candidate thus far.
US House District 8: This seat greatly resembles the old District 15 along the central Atlantic (Space) coast, and will be fairly friendly to incumbent Republican Rep. Bill Posey. Registration is 44% R, 35% D with both McCain and Scott scoring roughly 55%.
No serious Democratic challengers have emerged as of yet, but 2010 ‘some guy’ candidate Shannon Roberts is running again. She posted $30,000 raised in 2010 and finished the campaign with a small debt.
Democratic Attorney, MIT grad and President of Space Coast Tiger Bay Club David Gunter is also running.
US House District 9: South of Orlando, this seat includes pieces of 8, 15, and 24, is considered one of the two “new seats” Florida gained. Currently no Republicans are seeking this Open seat. Obama’s just over 60% and Sink’s 53% are strong indicators this will be a Democratic seat, the fact that Alan Grayson is seeking it in 2012 pretty much guarantees it.
US House District 10: Primarily composed of Rep. Daniel Webster‘s 8th district with a piece of the 5th, this is Disney and the west Orlando Suburbs. Republicans hold a 40.3% to 36.8% registration advantage, McCain scored a 52% to 47% win here in 2008. 10.5% of the district is Black, 14% Hispanic – both of these numbers should rise over the course of the decade.
Webster is seeking re-election here and he will likely face a stiff challenge. Orlando Police Chief and former Social Worker Val Demings has already posted strong fundraising numbers and collected some valuable endorsements/attention.
US House District 11: North of Tampa, from the Gulf Coast up to the Ocala National Forest this is another fairly large and largely rural district. Incumbent Rich Nugent gets 59% of his old 5th CD as well as about a quarter of the old 6th CD. Republicans lead registration 42% to 37%, both McCain and Scott were in the 55% ballpark. As with the 10th CD, Obama scored about 4% better than Sink.
Nugent will seek re-election and Don Browning, a former Winter Springs City Councilor has filed to challenge him in the Republican Primary. This is territory Democrats haven’t put up a serious fight for in a long time, like the new 6th and 3rd CD’s. Given a long term commitment and quality campaigns, these numbers could be brought back in to competition.
US House District 12: Tampa’s northern suburbs, composed of the old 9th (57%) and 5th (39%). Incumbent Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis is seeking re-election in this right leaning seat. Registration is 40.1% to 34.7% in favor of the Republicans, both McCain and Scott were at 52% and again Obama outperformed Sink by 3%.
‘Some guy’ Jonathan Michael Snow has filed intent to challenge Bilirakis. Certain to be a fund raising powerhouse, Snow is a certified photo specialist at Walgreens and former substitute teacher with a BA in History.
US House District 13: This coastal district sits west of Tampa Bay and includes more than 80% of Rep. Bill Young’s old 10th district. Every cycle rumors swirl the Rep. Young will retire – eventually they will be right unless he is defeated first. First elected in 1970, Young is now 81 and the longest serving Republican in the House. This is a district that Obama won in 2008 with better than 51% of the vote and Sink edged Scott 48.5% to 46.6% in 2010.
Young turned back a challenge from Democratic State Senator Charlie Justice in 2010.
Former Congressional staffer Jessica Ehrlich and former School Board Member Nina Hayden have announced for the Democratic Nomination. Hayden was out raised $800,000 to $20,000 in her bid against State Senator Jack Latava in 2010, putting the pressure on her to demonstrate she isn’t just a ‘some guy‘ candidate. Ehrlich, a lawyer has worked for both Republican (Clay Shaw) and Democratic (Stephen Lynch) members of the House.
Vultures are circling for this seat, with several filings and a bunch of rumors. Check back for more information as this one evolves. This seat should be a top target for Democrats with the new lines and Obama on the ballot again.
US House District 14: Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor’s Tampa Bay seat, with better than 50% Democratic registration, 65% Obama performance and 61% Sink performance – this is a solid D hold barring a major catastrophe/scandal shifting the landscape.
A few ‘some guys’ have filed for the Republican race to get slaughtered.
US House District 15: This district is a block of land surrounding I-4 between the populations of Tampa and Orlando, about half of the district was Republican Rep. Dennis Ross’s 12th district, with ~30% coming from the 9th district. Democrats hold a slight registration advantage, very slight at 39% to 38.6%. McCain and Scott both won the seat with 53% and 52.5% respectively.
This district includes Alex Sink’s hometown of Thonotasassa, it would be interesting to see if she could compete for this seat with a significantly better campaign than she ran for Governor. No doubt she could raise the money, but finding a message that resonates and demonstrating the capacity to connect with the voters remains to be seen. It would also require her to listen to people who actually understand elections, so they can explain to her that running away from the President will not help her (he outperformed her in this seat as well).
I don’t expect Sink to give serious consideration to running and her recent statements committing to building a non-partisan think tank to find policy solutions for Florida indicate she wishes to stay relevant while not actually understanding what the problems are.
If you are a progressive Democratic candidate already filed or considering running for US House, please contact us ASAP.
US House District 16: This Sarasota based district is 96% of Republican Representative Vern Buchanan‘s old 13th CD. The balance comes from the old District 11 (Castor). There are a number of affluent coastal communities in this 83.5% white district. Obama fared fairly well with 48% of the vote, Sink less so with 44%. McCain took 50.8% while Rick Scott took 51.7%. Moderates have struggled challenging Buchanan in the past, with Christine Jennings coming very close in 2006, less so in 2008 despite very strong fund raising. Registration tilts to the Republicans 43.6% to 32.8%.
Buchanan is seeking re-election here with his incredibly deep pockets. In addition to breaking campaign finance laws, Buchanan is an actual used car salesman (he owns a string of dealerships and had a variety of law suits filed against him on related issues). Democratic State Representative Keith Fitzgerald has announced he will challenge Buchanan. Fitzgerald is a well liked by progressive activists around the state and should make this a race to watch.
US House District 17: This massive chunk of land in the center of south Florida is mostly inland but with a touch of exposure on the Gulf coast. It is a melding of pieces of the old 16th (Rooney-R), 12th (Ross-R) and 14th (Mack-R). Registration is much closer than one might expect, Republicans holding 40.7% and Democrats a healthy 37.7%. Obama performed better than Sink with 43% while both McCain and Scott were just over 55%.
As part of a multi-candidate shuffle, Republican Incumbent Tom Rooney agreed to move in to this district (he lives in the 18th) opening the door for Allen West to take the 18th and Adam Hasner to seek West’s 22nd. At this point opposition appears to be limited to a variety of ‘some guys’.
US House District 18: This south Atlantic coast district is a pretty decent sized chunk of land that is slightly more friendly for Tea Bagger Incumbent Allen West, but not exactly friendly confines. The composition is 65% of Rooney’s old 16th (including his current home), 23% of West’s old 22nd, and a 9% slice of Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings’ 23rd. Republicans lead registration 38.0% to 37.3%. Obama won the district 51%-48% and Rick Scott took it 49%-47%. How this seat plays out in 2012 could have a big impact on Florida’s Electoral Votes and the Presidential Race as a whole.
Incendiary incumbent Rep. Allen West (lives in Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz 20th district) worked out the three player trade that sent a case of Bud Light Premium and an intern to be named later to Rooney in exchange for Rooney moving to the new 17th, West snagging the new 18th and giving Adam Hasner a place to land in the 22nd District in the aftermath of his stillborn US Senate campaign. West was dogged by two aggressive Democratic challengers in the 22nd, one of whom followed him to the 18th, upstart young Democrat Patrick Murphy. Murphy went from ‘some guy’ to serious player in a very short time, with aggressive progressive messaging and nose to the grindstone fund raising. He boasted $1.3 Million raised at years end.
2006 Candidate (against Mark Foley) David Lutrin had already been running for this race prior to the musical chairs, framing himself as a progressive. Lutrin has done nothing thus far to rate consideration beyond ‘some guy’ status with a year end filing of $185 raised. There is no K there. No comma. $185. Lutrin has withdrawn and endorsed Murphy.
Given Allen West’s volatility, a strong and (major) error free campaign by a progressive Democrat could certainly pick this seat up in 2012.
Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder ended the speculation and announced he will challenge West in the Republican Primary.
Tea Party Chairman and Independent Everett Wilkinson has also announced he is considering running against West on the basis that the district should be represented by a local. The intriguing element is that Wilkinson is an Independent which could have significant ramifications in the general election.
US House District 19: Southern Gulf coast including Fort Myers and Naples, composed almost entirely (98%) from Republican Representative Connie Mack IV’s old 14th District. This is among the most Republican districts in the state, with a 47% to 28% in registration and with Rick Scott posting a healthy 61%. Obama fared a bit better than Sink, losing 56.8% to 42.3% to McCain while Sink was ~35% against Scott’s 61%. Racially the seat is nearly 15% Hispanic and 6% Black, it is possible that over the decade those numbers will both grow, putting this seat closer to competition.
Incumbent Republican Connie Mack IV is seeking the Republican nomination to face Bill Nelson for US Senate leaving this seat open and somewhat of a free for all…as long as you are a Republican. Thus far none of the ‘some guys’ have really distinguished themselves, though at least three are in the ballpark of $100,000 raised.
US House District 20: This inland West Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale seat is serious nothing to see here territory. Democrats lead registration 65% to 14% in this 48.9% Black, 18.5% Hispanic seat. Obama won by a paltry 61% margin – 80% to 19%, Alex Sink only won 78%-20%. This is a majority minority seat, which is how the Republicans justify drawing a district with more nooks and crannies than anything Thomas’s makes. It isn’t as bad as the 5th CD, but it is pretty awful.
Democratic incumbent Representative Alcee Hastings will seek re-election, he will win. At least that is what my magic 8-ball says.
US House District 21: This seat snugs inside the embrace of District 20, another safe Democratic seat with a 48%-26% registration advantage. Both Obama and Sink cleared 60%. This district includes 76% of Democratic Representative Ted Deutch old 19th district and 15% of what was West’s 22nd district.
Deutch is seeking re-election and should coast, regardless of how many ‘some guys’ jump in.
US House District 22: Completing the ménage à trois with the 20th and 21st, this district hugs the Atlantic coastline of Palm Beach. Democrats hold a 41.5% to 32.6% registration advantage and the Obama 56.7% to 42.5% victory were too tough for Incumbent Republican Allen West, who yet again ran like a coward to more friendly confines. If he keeps this up, he will still be living in the 23rd District represented by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz and running in southern Georgia.
For roughly the past year, former Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy (see District 18) have been working hard, raising money and poking West with sharp sticks, scooping roughly $1.3 Million each in 2011. Murphy has now moved on to the 18th, and Frankel has been joined by Broward Commissioner Kristin Jacobs with rumors of other potential candidates enticed by the open seat. Jacobs’ announcement derided Frankel as divisive.
Republican Adam Hasner, former State House Majority Leader, abandoned his going-nowhere US Senate campaign to announced for this seat immediately after West announced intent to seek the 18th. He may face a primary challenge from Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca who has launched an exploratory committee.
The numbers here are extremely favorable, barring a major catastrophe, whichever Democrat wins the primary should coast to a win in November despite Hasner’s formidable stature.
US House District 23: Miami Beach up through Hollywood with a tail inland at the northern end of the district. Registration is 48.5% for Democrats, 25% Republicans, so this is another ‘nothing to see here’ seat. Obama and Sink again both broke 60%.
US House District 24: Miami’s majority-minority seat, this seat includes Miami Gardens, North Miami and Opa-Locka. 51.7% Black and 33% Hispanic, this seat holds the distinction of the smallest White population in the state at 12.6%. Obama and Sink both scored in the neighborhood of 85%, incumbent Democratic Representative Frederica Wilson is likely to coast to re-election until she decides to move on, just as Kendrick Meek and Carrie Meek before her.
Rudy Moise, one of the many Democratic candidates that sought this seek in the open race to replace Kendrick Meek that was won by Rep. Wilson, has announced he seek the seat again challenging Wilson in the primary.
US House District 25: A large geographic footprint, this district includes a bit of the Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve and a huge Hispanic population at 71%. Republicans hold the registration lead 40% to 32% and a moderate performance lead with McCain beating Obama 54%-46% and Scott over Sink by a slightly wider 57%-41%.
Incumbent Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart abandoned his old 25th CD seat in 2010 to seek the more friendly seat of his retiring brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart. In a strange twist, he gets the old number back along with 34% of his old seat and 51% of his current district. ’Some guy’ Democrat Shannon Richard Harvilla of Pompano Beach is challenging Diaz-Balart.
US House District 26: The tip of the state and the Keys, this is one of the most competitive districts in the state. Voter registration runs tight, Republicans at 36.8%, Democrats at 35.7%. McCain edged Obama 49.9% to 49.5%. Scott and Sink was even closer at 49.0% to 48.76%. This seat is majority Hispanic at 69%.
First term incumbent Republican David Rivera wasted no time getting caught up in a variety of scandals. Which isn’t news considering his use of a vehicle to crash his way to victory in the State Legislature years ago…
Democratic State Representative Luis Garcia announced last summer he would challenge Rivera. The combination of Rivera’s anemic fund raising as an incumbent and Garcia’s decent fund raising has eliminate the money gap, but that is certainly subject to change given how low the numbers currently are on both sides.
A variety of ‘some guys’ are either in or rumored to be considering a run.
US House District 27: Miami, South Miami and Coral Gables, this is another very competitive seat. Registration tilts 38.2% to 35.8% in favor of the Republicans and this is also a majority Hispanic seat at 75%. McCain edged Obama 50.9% to 48.5% and Scott beat Sink 50.6% to 47.5%.
Incumbent Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has proven to be a formidable opponent, over performing statewide Republican candidates by 10%.
Possibly the best hope for a progressive victory here is a rematch with 2008 nominee Annette Taddeo. Taddeo’s 2008 campaign under performed significantly, weighed down early by State/National Party rejection, Taddeo didn’t really find her feet until the final weeks of the campaign. She quickly became a favorite of progressive activists around the state. Taddeo could also be a viable candidate in the adjacent 26th District.
Summary for North Florida Districts 1-6: There are currently five Republicans and 1 Democrat representing this territory. With no major changes to the map as passed by the legislature, it is highly likely we will regain District 2 in 2012, and there is an outside chance at picking up Districts 3 and 6 over the next three cycles. To swing these six seats from 5R/1D to 2R/4D would be a huge coup, particularly when you consider the lengths to which Republicans went to protect themselves with gerrymandering. If the DOJ/Courts find fault with the maps as drawn, particularly with regard to the abomination that is District 5, the chances of Democratic gains in north Florida grow significantly.
Summary of the I-4 Corridor Districts 7-15: Looking at this package of seats, 7 through 15, Democrats currently hold 1 (14) and 1 seat is ‘new’ (9), but likely to be picked up by the Democrats. Over the next 2-3 cycles, we could see gains in 7, 10, and 13. I’m also intrigued by 15, where the numbers look appealing and the right candidate could knock out a weak incumbent.
Summary of Districts 16-27: In the territory south of the I-4 Corridor, there are a great deal of opportunities for Democratic (Progressive) pick ups in 2012 and/or over the next few cycles. Obama’s South Florida GOTV operation was incredible in 2008, but in far too many cases they were 1-shot voters, ignoring the under card – leaving challengers like Taddeo, Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez well short of Obama’s vote totals in their districts. If OFA 2.0 can work out those kinks, the new map could yield some significant gains in 2012 starting with 18 and 22. 16, 26 and 27 are the next best targets here, with the new maps making all of these seats virtual toss ups IF quality candidates/campaigns emerge.
Currently this block is 7R-4D-1New, with an aggressive effort it is reasonable to see 4 gains for progressive Democrats, moving the block to 4R-8D over the next 2-3 cycles. Long term, as with the I-4 Corridor, minority population growth should diminish the slim Republican margins gerrymandered in to the map.
Statewide Outlook: Statewide we could see as many as 10 more Democratic Members of Congress over the next 2-3 cycles. From 19R-6D to 11R-16D, quite a swing. Will the Florida Democratic Party do the necessary infrastructure building, recruitment and training to get this done? Will they commit to a 67-County strategy putting statewide candidates in a better chance to win? Or will they stick to the 2010 (and previous cycles) strategy of putting all of their eggs in a single statewide candidate’s basket and hope they don’t get smashed?