Sabato's Crystal Ball

Florida (08) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Alan Grayson, incumbent

Republican candidate: Dan Webster, former Florida House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: August 9, 2010

Democratic incumbent Alan Grayson is facing a crowded field of seven Republican challengers ahead of the August 24th primary. The Republican candidates are former Florida House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Dan Webster, state Representative Kurt Kelly, 2008 candidate Todd Long, Ross Bieling, Dan Fanelli, Bruce O’Donoghue and Patricia Sullivan. Grayson is preparing for a difficult re-election fight, with close to $1.5 million in the bank. As a progressive Democrat representing a historically Republican district, Grayson is in for a competitive race to win a second term. This race is a Toss-Up.

Background:

Freshman Democrat Alan Grayson broke the long-standing Republican hold on the 8th District in 2008 with a 4-point victory over Republican Ric Keller. Republicans had held power since 1982 prior to the shock result of 2008, and the fact that Obama also won by 5 percent that year suggests Grayson’s good fortune can at least partly be attributed to the Obama craze that swept the nation. For 2010, a relatively weak field of Republicans have lined up to challenge Grayson’s liberal platform, including former pilot Dan Fanelli, activist Patricia Sullivan, Dr. Ken Miller, and re-challenger from 2008, Todd Long.

Grayson’s outspoken criticism of the financial system and his staunch support for the liberal health care plan most likely will not temper down anytime soon. He himself was the victim of a Ponzi scheme operated by Derivium Capital, and he watched millions of dollars wash down the tubes. In addition, he suggested at a rally in October that the GOP should change its name to “The Selfish Party” because its health care plans will simply help people “die quickly.” It sounds like someone needs to spend an afternoon with Mickey and Minnie. Look for the Republican candidates to try to capitalize on Grayson’s harsh anti-Republican rhetoric in this historically Republican district. For now, though, the crowd seems to be giddy with delight over his passion.