These are the races that I think are worth keeping an eye in Florida during November election besides the Presidential race.
5. State House District 30: (D) Karen Castor Dentel v. (R) Scott Plakon
I'm sure you've have seen that name before, especially for those who live in the Tampa-St. Pete area. Ironically the daughter of Betty Castor, and little sis of Kathy Castor is not running in either the two main counties in the Tampa Bay region. Hillsborough and Pinellas County. Instead Karen is making her first run for public office, running in the Orlando Metro area, in a house district that is very competitive, but Democrat leaning district. Redrawn that way due in large part to the "Fair Amendments". Democrats have the registration edge in the district, and this newly configured district is one that Barack Obama and Alex Sink won. Her opponent Scott Plakon had the luxury of running in a gerrymandered district for several elections. Now that Plakon is in a unfriendly district he saying he's a conservative who works well with Democrats (rolling my eyes). Thanks to her last name and political blood line, even though she's out of her family home base, you better believe due to her families political connects she's getting the funding she needs. In the last quarter she had a big one, but Plakon being an incumbent raked in more, which would be expected. Since Castor announced, and the weight her family name brings, both parties are heavily invested in making sure their guy/gal wins this house seat in November.
4. State Senate District 34: (D) Maria Lorts Sachs v. (R) Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff
In my opinion I think the Sachs-Bogdanoff race is the most important race in the state senate this year. Both state parties definitely agree with the way they're supporting both candidates. In fact FLDEM Chair Rod Smith doing a little bit of a Joe Namath going a step further, not guaranteeing but promising that Sachs will win this state senate race in November. Also give Sachs credit, instead of going into a incumbent vs. incumbent primary against Joseph Abruzzo for a heavily Dem seat, she did a Patrick Murphy and decided to take on Bogdanoff in a district not deep blue, but favors Dems. Sachs exact words win running in the 30th instead of the 25th was “I’ll take a Republican, I’ll take her out.” I love that attitude about her! Bogdanoff is one who likes to talk and portray herself as a "bipartisan" someone who works across the aisle. Give me a break, she's been nothing but a rubber stamp for every extreme right wing bill that has passed through the state senate, and signed by Scott. She's been a reliable sheep for Gov. Scott.
During redistricting Senate Republicans desperately tried to save her by giving her a favorable district comprising of GOP voters from Broward and Palm Beach counties. Two of the most Bluest counties in the state. But fortunately the State's Supreme Court saw that as a violation of the amendment, and the Senate GOP had to draw what a district in that part of Florida should be, a Demoratic leaning district. Now I'll give Bogdanoff this much she's a good fundraiser and campaigner, but so is Sachs. Because this is a incumbent vs. incumbent general match up both state parties are going to heavily invest in this race. Unfortunately for Bogdanoff she has a primary opponent, and in Florida state rules if you have a primary opponent not only cant you give money to the state party, but you can't get loads of contributions. That's great for us and Sachs, she can load up on her cash coffers and prepare for Bogdanoff who will just come out of a primary that she didn't want. I believe what the good book says, what goes around comes around. What Bogdanoff has done during her tenure in Tallahassee will rightly serve her when Maria Sachs not only defeats her, but hopefully trounces her.
T-3. US House District 26: (D) Joe Garcia/Gloria Romero Roses v. (R) David Rivera
I think Democrats should be able to win this Congressional seat period. David Rivera is such damage goods is not even funny. State nor Nat'l Republicans want nothing to do with him. At one point the NRCC was trying to recruit St. Sen. Anitere Flores to challenge him in the primaries. This tells what they thought of his 2012 chances. Also lets not forget he was nearly about to be arrested last year, was it not for the prosecution blowing it. On the Democratic side you had bumps in the road when St. Rep. Luis Garcia had bad fundraising numbers, and then blamed it on DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for lack of support. He drop his bid and decided to run for a local office in Dade County. At first it look like Rivera was going to skate through reelection. Then Gloria Romero Roses from Broward County who doesn't even live in the district decided to get in, then the guy who should had got in from the gecko Joe Garcia, finally decided to give another go at it. What's good for us about this district is that Collier County, the most Republican county in South Florida outside of Martin, is totally cut out of the new 26th District. It's just Monroe and southwest portions of Dade County. The 26th contain the southwest suburbs and municipalities outside Miami. Places such as Kendall, Homestead, and Florida City are Democratic friendly, making it much better for the Democratic nominee to win. It also helps that all of the Florida Keys are in this district, and stubborn Hialeah is out. In all honestly even though I think Roses looks ambitious and has a bright future, I think it's in Broward County not Dade. I rather Garcia be the nominee in this race because his chances of beating Garcia in November is much better than Roses'. Hopefully three times the charm for Joe.
T-3. US House District 18: (D) Patrick Murphy v. (R) Allen West
Everybody is going to be looking at this race, I’m sure of it. Allen West for somebody who likes to run his mouth alot, sure doesn't like to hold his own in a fight. Instead he ran to a district that is much safer than the one he was originally running in, but still isn't all that safe. West did the whole switch-a-roo with Rooney which tells you Rooney wasn't at all comfortable with the new 22nd, rather seeking safe grounds in SW Florida. This district under it's new lines would have voted for Obama by 4 points. The district consists of Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties. This is a very competitive district, so West is not a sure bet for reelection. His opponent Patrick Murphy should get alot credit, instead going into a expensive primary in what is a very safe Democratic district, he did the right thing in going where Allen West was going and taking the fight to him. Everybody who participates here on DK would love to see nothing more than Allen West being defeated. Not only he says despicable things because he believes it and it get's him attention, but it's also a money bomb for him for all the right wing cooks. I believe Patrick Murphy does have a shot, we know he's going to get help from the DNC, DCCC and the Dems Super PAC that is focus on house races. As of right now I think this a genuine toss-up. The fact that two of the three counties in this district leans Democratic, Pat Murphy has close to a 50-50 shot in pulling this off.
2. US Senate: (D) Bill Nelson v. (R) Connie Mack IV
The only reason why Connie Mack is still in this race is 1. It's a decent number of people that think it's his father Mack III who's running and 2. The dark PAC money from the GOP is keeping him in this thing. Mack fund raising has been so bad that the NRSC has essentially begged him to change the way he's raising money, because Nelson has been running in circles around him in that department. Bill Nelson is still the favorite in this race, and will outperform Obama in Florida. Especially in the "Big Bend" part of the panhandle, and his home base in Metro Orlando. Florida already has a pipsqueak representing them in the senate, I don't believe they're going to have two. Connie Mack IV, I don't think could beat Bill Nelson when it comes to a race of character, let alone one for the US Senate. He has shown his self to be a arrogant, self-entitled, conceited pompous asshole. One example is how he attacks the editor of Florida's largest newspaper the Tampa Bay Times. Even the Wall Street Journal think that he's running a sh*t campaign, in a race that is competitive. When it's all said and done Nelson will win a third and likely final term back to DC, and Mack can go back to California with his wife where he really belongs.
1. US President: (D) Barack Obama v. (R) Mitt Romney
We all know this is the creme de la creme race of the general election this November. In alot of ways Florida is like the new Ohio for Republicans, if they don't win Florida it's game over... period. They're not going to win in places that are fool's gold for them (i.e. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin). They have to win Florida for them to have a path to 270. It's going to be a tight race, and whoever loses it won't lose no more than 2-4 points. Central Florida is where the Sunshine State is going to be won or lost. That's where most of the core votes are going to come from along the I-4 corridor. When you look at the demographics, and partisan trends that is taking place in Central Florida, it will be enough I believe to put Obama over the top.