Several interesting developments on the campaign trail this week.
- While the Democrats are not meeting expectations in several races across the state, Al Lawson appears to have moved into a de3ad heat with Incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Southerland according to recent polling. The composite Talking Points Memo poll tracker has Lawson leading Southerland by 0.5 % .
- While the Sunshine State News poll that was released today showed Patrick Murphy trailing Allen West by a single point, it appears to be an outlier as several polls commissioned in the last two weeks show West pulling away from Murphy in CD-18. Last week TPH moved this race to “leans Republican” in our ratings.
- The Republican Party of Florida is spending money boosting beleaguered scandal plagued incumbents Chris Dorworth and Erik Fresen. This is despite the failure of many Democrats to embrace Dorworth challenger Mike Clelland’s campaign and the Florida Democratic Party’s unwillingness to back Ross Hancock who is opposing Fresen. However, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party is helping Hancock out and he has gained traction in HD-114 over the past several weeks. Clelland is receiving help from the FDP, despite the efforts of several Democratic insiders to aid Dorworth. We will have much more on the Dorworth-Clelland race tomorrow morning.
- Speculation from Pinellas County is that Rep. Peter Nehr is facing a more savvy and disciplined Democratic challenger in Carl Zimmerman this year. The two have squared off twice previously with Nehr holding off Zimmerman both in 2006 and 2008 by narrow margins. But Zimmerman has apparently been more effective in his campaign this go-round but Nehr remains favored because unlike 2006 and 2008 no Democratic tide seems evident and post reapportionment this seat is ever so slightly more Republican.
- Former Senator Nancy Argenizano has sued the RPOF for a mailer they have sent in the HD-34 race. Argenizano who is running as an NPA is facing Incumbent Republican Jimmie Smith in the Citrus County based seat.