Congressional Race Ratings – October 7th

This week we’re shifting the CD-2 race back into the “Leans Republican” column where it started the cycle. Three weeks ago we wrote this about the seat:

We’ve moved the 2nd Congressional District race between Steve Southerland and Al Lawson to “Likely Republican” based on public polling in the region regarding the Presidential, US Senate and State House races that overlap the district. Lawson should outperform Alan Boyd’s poor 41% here in 2010 and but probably won’t be close enough to seriously threaten Southerland. Like so many other largely rural Southern seats that fit the profile of this district, once they flipped to the GOP in the 1990s or 2000s they flip for good.Keep in mind the once previous GOP Rep. from this district, Bill Grant was never elected as a Republican and was defeated badly by Pete Peterson in 1990, which was his first election as a Republican.

Their are exceptions to this rule and the hope was CD-2 with Tallahassee as an anchor and lots of government workers in the district would keep this area competitive. But President Obama is deeply unpopular in this area and outside of Tallahassee, Democrats are hardly competitive in legislative races these days. Besides, Southerland’s base in Bay County should inoculate him from any desire among Government workers to reward Lawson for his longstanding loyalty to them while he was in the legislature. Still this race bears monitoring and Lawson will certainly be more competitive than Boyd was two years ago.

We stated in the last line that this race needed to be monitored, and would be more competitive than two years ago. Evidently, with the big lead amassed by Keith Fitzgerald the NRCC has shifted resources elsewhere including into CD-2 where Lawson’s early ads made a favorable impression. Also, Barack Obama is not running as poorly in this big bend/eastern panhandle district as he was three weeks ago,  and Lawson appears to have a fine grassroots effort that may actually help to increase core Democratic turnout. This seat still leans towards Southerland, but Lawson is closing fast.

Full ratings after the jump

Safe Democratic
FL-5 (Brown)
FL- 14 (Castor )
FL- 20 (Hastings)
FL-21 (Deutch)
FL-23 (Wasserman-Schultz)
FL-24 (Wilson)
Likely Democratic
Leans Democratic
FL-9 (Open)
FL-22 (Open)
FL- Senate (Nelson)

Toss Up
FL-18 (West)
FL-26 (Rivera)

Leans Republican

FL-2 (Southerland)
FL-10 (Webster)

Likely Republican

FL- 6 (Open)
FL-13 (Young)
FL-16 (Buchanan)

Safe Republican
FL-1 (Miller)
FL-3 (Stearns*)
FL-4 (Crenshaw)
FL-7 (Mica)
FL- 8 (Posey)
FL-11 (Nugent)
FL-12 ( Bilirakis)
FL-15 (Ross)
FL-17 (Rooney)
FL-19 (Open)
FL-25 (Diaz-Balart)
FL 27 (Ros-Lehtinen)
* Stearns lost the GOP primary to Ted Yoho