Two Florida Districts Clinton Won Particularly Competitive in 2018 By Jordyn Keeck-Beach
The Utica College Center for Public Affairs and Election Research is regularly analyzing the 2018 midterm, including House districts that Hillary Clinton won currently held by GOP incumbents. Two districts in Florida, FL-26 held by Republican moderate Carlos Curbelo, and an open seat in FL-27, will be particularly interesting this campaign cycle.
Representative Curbelo (FL-26) is not facing a primary challenge, while several Democrats are vying to challenge him, including Steven Machat, Steve Smith, Ricky Junquera, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Mucarsel-Powell has the most experience after running “a stronger-than-expected state Senate campaign in 2016.” She is an immigrant from Ecuador who worked in the non-profit sector prior to opening her own consulting firm.
The demographics of Miami, located in FL-27, do not favor the GOP as “younger Cubans, non-Cuban Hispanics, and socially liberal whites are moving away from the national GOP at warp speed.” This helps explain why Democrats are favored in this district that Trump lost by 20 points.
Not surprisingly, there is a crowded field of eight Democrats vying for the nomination, including state Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, state Representative David Richardson, and Florida Circuit Court Judge and Obama Judicial Nominee Mary Barzee Flores.
Both Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report have FL-27 “leaning Democrat.” FL-26 is considered a “toss up” by Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and “leaning Republican” by The Cook Political Report.
Jordyn Keeck-Beach is a research assistant at The Utica College Center of Public Affairs.