Q&A of the Day – South Florida’s Congressional Races? 

Today’s Entry: Here’s question I’d been meaning to ask. In past election cycles a lot had been made about how close many of SFL’s congressional races would be and how they’d be barometers for the country, etc. This cycle pretty much all of the talk is about how good the GOP looks in the statewide races with very little conversation about House races. Is this because of redistricting making seats less competitive, the GOP performing so strong most previous toss-ups no longer are, both? Or is this oversight?  

Bottom Line: It’s a good question you’re asking. To provide a little extra color to your characterization, in the previous two cycles not only had many of South Florida’s congressional races received a lot of national attention, but they’d also received international attention. As an example, in the 2018 and 2020 cycles I’d participated as an analyst in election specials with the BBC and BBC World News with whole episodes focused on our races. This year, Florida’s races aren’t the focus at all. I’m able to address the state of Florida’s Congressional races, but first I’ll give my take on what’s likely behind Florida being the focus, to Florida effectively being ignored this cycle. I think there are three specific reasons House races which may prove to be close within our state aren’t being viewed the way they once were by those outside of our state.  

  1. Republicans have been strongly favored to win the House the entire cycle 
  2. Rubio's been a strong favorite to win his race throughout the cycle 
  3. Florida’s no longer viewed as the ultimate swing state 

On the first point, according to the 538-midterm election forecast, which as a conservative analyst I like to use to illustrate examples, as it’s the favorite forecast model of the political left acting as an analytical counterweight of sorts, there’s never been a point during this midterm election cycle dating back to last fall, in which Republicans were given lower than 68% odds of winning the House. Currently, 538 places the GOP with an 80% likelihood of gaining control of the House, with Republicans having a 23-seat majority come January. With control of the House never really being considered in doubt by national and international observers, and with Republicans expected to gain control with many seats to spare, it makes SFL’s traditionally competitive House races less interesting to the outside world because the outcomes of those races are unlikely to impact the balance of power in Washington. What’s more, in what’s expected to be a strong cycle for Republicans generally, they’d already flipped Florida’s 26th and 27th districts in the 2020 cycle – meaning the wind is at the back of the incumbents this cycle. That takes us to the second point. 

With the focus predominately being on the Senate this cycle, as control of the chamber has been in doubt throughout the course of this election cycle, Florida’s best chance of receiving outsized national and international attention would have been a competitive senate race with potential control of the Upper chamber hinging on it. The fact of the matter in practical terms is that, that very much is the case as we’re just eight days away from Election Day, however back to the aforementioned 538 forecasts, there’s never been a point in this cycle in which Senator Rubio has been given a lower than 85% chance of winning reelection, a figure which currently stands at 93%. That’s kept the focus on the numerous other senate races across the country which have theoretically been more in doubt throughout the cycle. And that takes us to the third point.  

With Florida now having a significant Republican voter registration advantage, on back of Florida’s Republicans having significantly outperformed the national averages in the previous two election cycles, Georgia and Pennsylvania have usurped Florida as being the ultimate swing states in the eyes of national and international news outlets. And that has another impact as well. Fewer polls being conducted which also plays into your hearing less about the state of many of these SFL races of late. But as for those which have been conducted along with Florida’s other voting trends here’s the lay of the land in what had previously been hotly contested and closely watched contests in South Florida.  

  • Florida’s 21st: Mast 99% chance of winning 
  • Florida’s 23rd: Moskowitz 94% chance of winning 
  • Florida’s 27th: Elvira-Salazar 90% chance of winning 
  • Florida’s 28th: Gimenez 99% chance of winning 

In other words, there aren’t races in SFL which are expected to be especially close. A lot’s changed in a couple of years within our state for sure, and this emphasizes the potential extent to which Florida has evolved from a swing state into a red state. The two seats Republicans flipped just two years ago, they’re now expected to retain by 90% and 99% respectively. Now, a couple of notes. None of this prognostication stuff means anything in the end. Only actual votes do, so it’s critical to vote regardless of outside perceptions. And should this turn out to be a wave election for Republicans, which is currently possible, there may well be some additional surprises within our state and others. Every wave election includes a handful of races which hadn’t been considered especially competitive that end up with upsets in the end. I’ll be on the lookout for those, including in Florida, eight days from now. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.   

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Gettr, Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio  

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.  

Electronic Voting - Hand over ballot

Photo: Getty Images

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