Sabato's Crystal Ball

Florida (02) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Allen Boyd, incumbent

Republican candidate: William Steve Southerland II

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: August 3, 2010

Democratic incumbent Allen Boyd is in a fight for his political life, facing challenges from independent candidate Paul McKain and fellow Democrat Al Lawson. Boyd has focused on fundraising, and has amassed a campaign war chest of $1 million. His opponents Lawson and McKain have raised $33,680 and $7,846 respectively. In the August 24th primary, Boyd hopes to end his heated race with Democratic candidate Al Lawson and emerge as the Democrats’ nominee. This race is a Toss-Up.

Background:

Blue-Dog Democrat Allen Boyd is running for an 8th term in Florida’s 2nd District, which encompasses all of Panama City and part of Tallahassee. He is facing a challenge in the primary from state Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson and also from Florida Whig Party candidate Paul C. McKain. It may be difficult to unseat the 14-year veteran of Congress, whose conservative “Blue Dog” character perfectly suits not only the District’s consistent, Republican lean in presidential elections, but also the sizeable Democratic constituency. As Barack Obama’s popularity gradually declines and the conservative base fires up, it might be helpful that Boyd is frequently considered one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. Lawson certainly does not enjoy that bipartisan public perception, and neither does McKain. As for McKain, he might have a better chance of winning if he switches the “K” in his last name to a “C”—since his phonetic twin soundly beat Obama by 9 percent here in 2008.