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Beginning today, we will update these ratings every week and will begin House ratings weekly after qualifying. We will also provide a digest each Monday of new happenings in the Senate races across the state.
Based on today’s projections the Democrats would win 14 seats, the Republicans would win 25 and 1 race is a toss up. The only incumbent to be defeated would be Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff who is running in a heavily Democratic district against a sitting Senator Maria Sachs. We however, refer to Bogdanoff as the incumbent in this race because a much larger percentage of her old Senate district is in the new SD-34.
In that particular race, prominent Republicans in Palm Beach County have begun raising money for Sachs. So Bogdanoff is at a disadvantage in the district being both a Republican and from Broward County in a seat clearly designed following a redraw to elect a resident of Palm Beach County. Nonetheless, Bogdanoff is a tough candidate to run again and on the stump she promises to be much livelier and generate more excitement than Sachs.
The GOP held 26 Senate seats between 2002 and 2010 and using the power of incumbency to their full advantage, the Senate Republican leadership has created “fair districts” as deemed by the court that will give the majority party a similar majority to the most gerrymandered plan in history. Given the stagnant ion of growth in coastal Broward & Palm Beach counties through the last ten years, keeping Bogdanoff out of very Democratic territory west of US 1 was always going t0 be difficult. But otherwise as these ratings demonstrate, the Republicans have manipulated seats in growing Democratic areas to advantage their own incumbents and even protect open seats held by term limited Republicans.
Despite the analysis that the GOP will dominate this set of Senate elections, much of that owes itself to the continued inability of Florida Democrats to recruit good candidates and run disciplined campaigns for those candidates. Thus, in this initial rating we admit to a Republican bias when determining likely outcomes of elections. The candidates and campaigns begin to take shape, expect frequent movement on this board.