Florida will be a key state in the 2020 presidential election–but a prominent national pundit is expecting there won’t be much in the way of action in the Sunshine State’s 27 congressional races.
Cook Political Report released its first look at the 2020 congressional races–even before the new Congress convened–and found only three of the 27 races in Florida look competitive.
Two incoming freshman Democrats are listed as potentially vulnerable. After winning 52 percent to 46 percent, Democrat Donna Shalala is in a “likely Democratic” race as she runs for a second term in a district which broke heavily to Hillary Clinton back in 2016. Democrat Debbie Mucarsel Powell is in a race that “leans Democratic” after she edged U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., last month. While it’s early, Curbelo has expressed little interest in trying to return to Congress in 2020 though there is increasing buzz that he could run for Miami Dade mayor in two years.
Only one Florida Republican was listed as potentially vulnerable for 2020. Republican Ross Spano is in a race considered “lean Republican” due to his “acknowledgment that he may have taken illegal campaign loans could complicate his reelection bid.”
The other members of the Florida delegation look safe at least for the moment. Democrats may have tried to pick up the seat given up by incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis but Republican Mike Waltz kept it red and should be safe in a traditionally GOP leaning district. After upsetting longtime U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., in a major upset in 2016, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., looked vulnerable in 2018 but she routed state Rep. Mike Miller, R-Orlando, on Election Day and looks secure if she seeks a third term in 2020. After edging U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., in 2016, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., scored a big win over Republican George Buck last month and looks safe if he wants a third term in 2020.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.