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Politics

Cook Report: Florida has Five Competitive Congressional Races in 2018

April 6, 2018 - 9:45am

On Friday, a leading national pundit offered its take on this year’s congressional races and found no changes in any of the contests in Florida. 

The Cook Report shifted the odds in 13 races across the country in its latest look at House races but did not change any of the races in the Sunshine State. 

Of the 55 races the Cook Report considers competitive, five are in Florida. Freshman Democrat Stephanie Murphy, who upset longtime Republican Congressman John Mica last time out, is in a race that is considered “likely Democratic.” The Cook Report likes the Democrats’ chances to flip the seat held by retiring Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as the race for that open seat is “Leans Democratic.” Running for a third term in a  district that went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo is in a “Toss Up” races though Democrats failed in their efforts to take him down in either 2014 or 2016. Freshman Republican Congressman Brian Mast is in a “Lean Republican” district while GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan is in a “Likely Republican Race.”

While there were no changes in Florida, both sides had reasons to be disappointed in the latest ratings. 

Freshman Democrat Charlie Crist beat Republican Congressman David Jolly last time out in a very close contest in a swing district in the Tampa Bay area. Jolly announced last month that he will not attempt a political comeback this year and the GOP has not found a big name opponent to run against Crist yet. What had been a competitive district only two years ago is not expected to be a battleground this year. All that being the case, the Cook Report considers this race "Safe Democratic."

With Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis running for governor instead of a fourth term in the House, Democrats are getting excited over the prospects of Nancy Soderberg who was a  former deputy national security advisor who sat on the National Security Council and was an alternate representative to the United Nations where she often represented the U.S. on the Security Council during the Clinton administration. In recent weeks, the DCCC named Soderberg as part of its “Red to Blue” program of top challengers. But the Cook Report has kept the race “Safe Republican” for the time being even as there is a crowded field of Republican candidates running in what is expected to be a competitive primary. 

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