Senate Race Ratings: Republicans Likely To Overperform

With the advent of “Fair Districts” came Legislative maps less gerrymandered for partisan purposes than in previous cycles. In the House this has produced a map with fewer than 60 safe or likely Republican seats and if the Democrats could ever get their act together they could capture the chamber in the next few cycles. However, the Senate paints an entirely different picture. Don Gaetz and his allies drew a map that was full of incumbent protection and partisan motivated meandering districts- yet the Supreme Court by a 5-2 margin found this map to be constitutional.

In March, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found that the new Senate map had 23 strong Republican seats, 15 strong Democratic seats and 2 swing districts. Our own TPH analysis concurred with those numbers. But the Democrats have failed to field a candidate in one of the strong ‘Democratic seats, SD 22, where Jeff Brandes will be the new Senator. The two “toss-up” seats are Jack Latvala’s SD-20 where the Democrats pose no threat and the open 8th, the only seriously contested Senate seat in the state where the Democrats have recruited the best possible candidate in Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno.

Additionally, four seats in “strong Democratic” column could very well be represented by Republicans after the election. Darren Soto in the heavily Democratic SD-14 and Gwen Margolis in the almost as heavily Democratic SD-35 have drawn  the strongest possible Republican opponents in their districts. SD-14 is a district that Barack Obama got close to 68% of the two-party vote in last Presidential election, but I would expect many ticket splitters as Republican Will McBride is a likable and well respected local attorney.

The most high-profile D vs R race in the state is between incumbents Maria Sachs, a fairly moderate Democrat and Ellyn Bogdanoff, a self proclaimed moderate whose voting record is further to the right than many legislators from the Panhandle and other conservative areas. This race is still very much a “toss-up.”

Full ratings below

Safe D Likely D Leans D Toss Up Leans R Likely R Safe R
SD 12 (Open) SD 3 (Montford) SD 14 (Open) SD 8 (Open) SD 4 (Open) SD 1 (Gaetz)
SD 19 (Open) SD 9 (Gibson) SD 35 (Margolis) SD 34 (Bogdanoff/Sachs) SD 7 (Open) SD 2 (Evers)
SD 27 (Open) SD 25 (Open) SD 10 (Simmons) SD 5 (Dean)
SD 29 (Ring) SD 15 (Open) SD 6 (Thrasher)
SD 31 (Smith) SD 21 (Open) SD 11 (Hays)
SD 33 (Sobel) SD 24 (Open) SD 13 (Gardiner)
SD 36 (Braynon) SD 32 (Negron) SD 16 (Altman)
SD 39 (Open) SD 17 (Open)
SD 18 (Open)
SD 20 (Latvala)
SD 22 (Open)
SD 23 (Richter)
SD 26 (Open)
SD 28 (Open)
SD 30 (Benacquisto)
SD 37 (Flores)
SD 38 (Garcia)
SD 40 (Diaz De La Portilla)

4 thoughts on “Senate Race Ratings: Republicans Likely To Overperform”

  1. You can thank Obama’s socialism and big government agenda for why we can’t compete in most of these places. We were doing just fine before he destroyed the party. Bill McBride won most of north Florida and the real Democrats were coming home.

  2. We were doing so well before Obama was elected weren’t we? That’s why the Republicans had a super majority in the House after the 2002 election, when your friend McBride ran.

  3. Take it from me. Soto is 100% worthless as a campaigner. I’d fully expect McBride to make this one close but strong Obama and Nelson performances should pull Soto through.

  4. Marigolis should win. Her moderate voting record will save her and prove a lesson to other Ds in that left wing area.