|Poll||Date||Sample||Boyd (D)||Southerland (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||41.5||53.8||Southerland +12.3|
|The Hill/Penn, Schoen & Berland (D)||10/16 - 10/19||399 LV||38||50||Southerland +12|
|Sunshine State News/VSS||10/14 - 10/17||830 LV||38||50||Southerland +12|
|2008: Boyd (D) 62%, Mulligan (R) 38%||2008: McCain (R) 54%, Obama (D) 45%|
|2006: Boyd (D) Unopposed||2004: Bush (R) 54%, Kerry (D) 45%|
|2004: Boyd (D) 62%, Kilmer (R) 38%||2000: Bush (R)519%, Gore (D) 46%|
10/24/10 --Boyd trails in independent polling by 12 points. This is a shocking turn of events for a Congressman who has never received less that 59 percent of the vote.
Florida’s 2nd District is in many ways the original Florida district. The state’s population was largely clustered in the northern portions of the state until the waning days of the 19th Century, when the Florida East Coast Railroad opened Miami to the rest of the country. Today, the area probably has more culturally in common with south Georgia than with the rest of the state. There is little Latino influence here, but there is a large African American population, as well as a large number of state employees. The district has never elected a Republican (though a Democrat switched parties and promptly lost the next election in the late 1980s).
Allen Boyd has represented the Second since 1996, when he won the seat from retiring Democrat Pete Peterson. Boyd has never dropped below 62 percent of the vote, and has compiled a quirky voting record. Boyd supported private accounts for Social Security and also backed lowering Social Security benefits during the Bush Administration. He voted for the Bush prescription drug benefit in 2003. Boyd also rejected the initial stimulus, but voted for the final package; likewise he voted against the health care bill the first time it came before the House, but helped it through the second go-around.
This “split-the-difference” approach has set up what will probably be a tough re-election bid. His first challenge was in the September primary, where he narrowly survived a challenge from state Senator Al Lawson, who hit him from the left. After surviving there, he moved on to the general election, where he is being hit from the right by Steve Southerland. This is likely going to be a Boyd’s toughest race to date by far.