Florida Senator Bill Nelson coasted to victory in Tuesday’s senate primary, setting up what looks to be a very close race against Republican winner Congressman Connie Mack IV from the 14th district. The latest PPP poll has Nelson with a 45% to 43% edge, well within the margin of error. Nelson has survived as a moderate Democrat in this purple state, but anti-incumbent sentiment may very well make him another congressional casualty in November.
The big shocker of the night, however, was the loss by long-time Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns, who lost to Tea Partier Ted Yoho, a veterinarian. Yoho snuck by Stearns 34.4% to 33.1% in a four-way race.
Incumbent Republican John Mica easily defeated Tea Party challenger Sandy Adams, as he garnered more than 60% of the vote in the House GOP primary for the 7th district. The 69 year old Mica has served in Congress since 1993, and is very popular. In his first election to the House, he got 56% of the vote, and since then he has collected at least 60% in every general elections. Mica will face Democratic challenger Jason Kendall, who won his primary handily.
Todd Long, a radio host, won the GOP primary in the 9th district, setting up a showdown with fiery former Congressman and liberal firebrand Alan Grayson, who lost his seat in 2010.
Tea Party favourite Allen West easily defeated Bob Crowder in the GOP 18th. The mercurial West is known for his offbeat broadsides against President Obama and fellow Florida congressperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who always chairs the Democratic National Committee.
Incumbent Republicans Ander Crenshaw (4th), Bill Young (13th), and Tom Rooney (17th) all cruised to victory. Ron Desantis won in a seven-way race in the Republican 6th.
In the newly-created 26th district, Miami lawyer Joe Garcia won the Democratic primary, and will face David Rivera, to whom he lost in 2010 in the general election for the 25th district.
Trey Radel won the GOP 19th in a six-way race.