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PolitiFact.com | St. Petersburg Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

Pundits agree: Senator likely to be Crist or Rubio, not Meek

With Republicans Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio dominating news coverage about Florida's U.S. Senate race, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek would like you to know he's running, too.

"A number of the national publications have put this race in a tossup race between Democrats and Republicans," said Meek, D-Miami, in a Jan. 10 interview on Bay News 9's Political Connections. "They don't know who's going to win this race."

When it comes to November, are national prognosticators putting Democrats like Meek on equal footing with the GOP?

Congressional Quarterly lists Florida as "Likely Republican."

Stuart Rothenberg, an oft-quoted political analyst, says "Clear advantage for incumbent party," or in this case, Republicans.

Another familiar name in political speculating, the Cook Political Report, lists the Florida race as "Likely Republican."

Larry Sabato at the Center for Politics: "Likely Republican."

Ken Rudin at National Public Radio: "Republican favored."

A group called Intrade says Republicans have a 78.45 percent chance of keeping the seat.

New York Times: "Likely Republican."

At FiveThirtyEight.com, Florida ranks as 13th-most likely seat to switch hands in November.

Struggling to find the word "tossup" associated with the Florida Senate race, we asked the Meek campaign for help.

They referred us to a Jan. 6 blog post from the Wall Street Journal titled "2010 Tossups: A Rundown of the Most-Competitive Senate Races." It includes Florida among 11 other races.

Susan Davis writes: "So much of the focus in this race has been on the Republican primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio that it's important to remember that either candidate still has to win a general election. Crist — back when Crist was seen as inevitable — was regularly leading likely Democratic nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek in the polls. But the evolving nature of the GOP primary, and what it says about the party and state, means that the Florida race is shaping up to be one of the more interesting and entertaining contests of the midterms."

Meek says a number of national publications consider the race a tossup. That number, however, appears to be just one.

The statement

"A number of national publications have put this race in a tossup race between Democrats and Republicans. They don't know who's going to win this race."

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, in a Jan. 10 TV interview

The ruling

We could only find one publication calling it a tossup. The overwhelming majority of pundits who attempt to predict election outcomes all have Republicans favored in the Sunshine State. We rate Meek's claim Barely True.

Pundits agree: Senator likely to be Crist or Rubio, not Meek 01/17/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 17, 2010 8:27pm]
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