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Rating Change: Florida’s 2nd District
Posted at 7:34 p.m. on July 21
The competitive nature of Florida’s 2nd District is not in dispute, but the ability of a Democrat to get over the top is a much larger question.
Stu Rothenberg has written consistently about the Democrats’ ability to draw between 46 and 48 percent of the vote. You can read his Oct. 2012 analysis here and March 2014 analysis here. I also wrote about a poll in the district in Sept. 2013.
We have been consistent in our view that a close race doesn’t necessarily mean that GOP Rep. Steve Southerland is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country. But Democrat Gwen Graham may be the nominee to change that.
The daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., has been a tremendous fundraiser and has the potential to outperform Democrats’ 2012 nominee outside of Leon County. That is Republican territory where Southerland will try to run up the margins.
Gwen Graham still has some work to do to raise her own profile and help voters connect the dots to her father, but she is proving to be a very formidable foe. We’re changing our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of Florida’s 2nd District from Leans Republican to Tossup/Tilts Republican.