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During the 2008 election cycle, I latched onto FL-15 as my personal lost cause among congressional races, diarying on it several times.

Here was the argument:

  1. Cook Report PVI rating of only R+4
  1. An open seat, with the retirement of Republican Dave Weldon.
  1. Local demographics were trending Democratic.
  1. Obama campaign was investing in the district.

Alas the Democrats (DCCC, DNC, State) ignored the race, Republican Bill Posey outspent our guy 9:1 and won 53%-42% (+13), while Obama lost by only 48-51 (+3), outperforming Kerry's 43-57 (+14) and Gore's 46-54 (+8).  

Now for the first time, FL-15 and Freshman Republican Bill Posey have made the national news and gotten our attention, too late to do any good: Posey has introduced the first national "Birther" bill.

Yup.  Predictably, joining the extreme wingnut wing of the wingnut wing of the Republican Party is the guy, the DCCC and DNC and local Florda Party couldn't be bothered to run seriously against.

Our candidate, Dr. Steve Blythe had gotten into the race when nobody else was interested because incumbent Republican Dave Weldon was still there. When Weldon retired and it became an open seat, the Democratic Party establishment still took a pass.

Now I will admit that Dr. Steve Blythe, though a great guy and a PNHP member (hence my knowledge of the campaign far away from my NYC home), was a first time candidate for any office and may have been too liberal for the district.

But still, the Democraitc Party blew this one:
Nobody well known stood up to run, even when Weldon retired.
For reasons I still do not understand, no more mainstream, experienced candidate was put forward by the Democrats, locally or nationally.
Dr. Steve Blythe is a beloved local physician, even if not a politician.
The district is not hard core right and with the NASA influence has an educated base, some environmentalists, its share of YUPPIES and others representing a shifting demogaphic.

Bottom line, despite the argument above HE HAD NO SUPPORT FROM DCCC or DNC!.  

And he never caught on, despite my feeble attempts, with the netroots.

Our guy had no institional party support, national, state or local; it was a pure shoestring local campaign, and for whatever reason never caught on with the netroots either.

I still think this shoud have been a winnable congressional seat though it would have required a real committenment from the party and probably a more experienced, well known and centrist candidate. As noted  above:

  1. Cook Report PVI rating of only R+4
  1. An open seat, with the retirement of Republican Dave Weldon.
  1. Local demographics were trending Democratic.
  1. Obama campaign was investing in the district, and outperformed history and the Posey-Blythe results, lost by only 3%, suggesting that a well funded, better known, less liberal, white, local figure could have won the congressional seat.

Posey is now more exposed as a nutjob.
This is the guy who during the campaign came out against SCHIP expansion on the basis that "those" people were just spending their money on bigscreen TV and wheels.

Now of course the Florida State Democratic party has woken up and noticed, but it would have been nice if they had done so when it could have done some good.
 
But now Posey is also an incumbent.
This was a classic lost opportunity.

Originally posted to DrSteveB on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM PDT.

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