Republicans keep looking at Florida’s 7th and 13th Congressional Districts and continue to see opportunities, no matter what Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Charlie Crist do in Congress or past elections.
Once again, the National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting Murphy’s CD 7 and Crist’s CD 13 among their assessments of “offensive pick-up opportunities” in the next election. The NRCC listed those as its Florida targets among 47 congressional districts across the nation as 2022 campaign priorities, in a statement released Monday.
“House Republicans start the cycle just five seats short of a majority and are prepared to build on our 2020 successes to deliver a lasting Republican majority in the House,” NRCC Chair Tom Emmer, a Minnesota Congressman said in the release.
Yet the arguments Emmer offers in the release are the same that have been tried multiple times against Murphy and Crist without looking either apt or successful in past elections: tying Democrats to socialism, defunding police, government-run health care, and killing the Keystone Pipeline.
This time the NRCC is counting on redistricting to return Republican advantages to districts the GOP once owned.
Also, both Murphy and Crist have been rumored for other jobs before the next congressional election, Murphy to a potential U.S. Senate run or a potential post in the Joe Biden administration, and Crist to another potential gubernatorial run. That, more than the NRCC’s anti-socialism strategy, might make the seats viable again for Republicans.
In the announcement of the 47 targets, the NRCC focuses on numbers that suggest ripe districts. Crist was listed as a “Battleground Democrat.” Murphy was put on the NRCC’s “Redistricting Watch” list.
“The 29 ‘Battleground Democrats’ that make up the majority of the NRCC’s offensive targets present numerous opportunities for Republicans to flip Democrat-held seats,” the NRCC says in a memo backing the release. “The list includes members where Joe Biden lost their district in 2020, several who underperformed the top of the ticket and four newly added members who were not targeted last cycle.”