Monday, February 25, 2008

First Congressional District Race '08

In some quarters, attention is turning at last to the biennial congressional races for Congress. Today, Peter Flom offers at Daily Kos a helpful run-down on all the Florida congressional races in 2008.

It's still a fluid picture. As Dr. Flom says, the "filing deadline is May 2, primary is Aug 26."

As for our little corner of the state, this is Flom's assessment of the current state of affairs:
District: FL-01
Location The westernmost part of the panhandle, bordering AL, the Gulf of Mexico and including Pensacola.
Incumbent:] Representative Jeff Miller (R)
First elected 2001
2006 margin 69-31
2004 margin 77-22
Bush margin 2004 72-29
Notes on opponents: Neither recent opponent raised $50K
Current opponents:
Joe Roberts
Bryan James (no web site) [sic -- His name actually is "James E. Bryan." See here]
Demographics: Most veterans of any district (21.7%), and the 13th most Republican district per Cook PVI
Assessment: Long shot
Flom got the Bryan James name wrong, and he doesn't mention this but it appears a third candidate has filed for the Democratic nomination to oppose Miller -- someone in Pensacola named Robert Crocket Peterman II. The mistakes and omissions are understandable, though. So far as we can tell both men appear to be nonentities. So long as he doesn't get over-confident, the nomination surely is Joe Roberts'.

On the Republican side no one has filed to oppose Jeff Miller. That's not surprising, even though there is widespread unhappiness over his lackluster performance among GOP stalwarts. It doesn't look like a good year for Republicans, even here in the Panhandle.

Besides, if Miller couldn't get anything serious done in past congresses when his own party was in absolute control, how effective would be some freshman who unseats him after an even larger Democratic majority takes office in January '09?

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