The primary’s outcome is dependent on how the lines are drawn. Murphy lives in Broward County, and Frankel would likely beat him in a district that included her home turf of West Palm Beach, where she served two terms as mayor.
While Murphy’s own fundraising haul gives state Democrats reason to view him as capable, they are waiting on the map and, naturally, would prefer to avoid a primary.
Watch for the Democratic nominee to echo the national party’s criticism of West’s vote for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Medicare overhaul. Democrats hope the message will influence the district’s many senior citizens.
Frankel will also use West’s high profile against him. “Mr. West is focusing on his career as a talk-show media star. And, at some point, that gets very old,” Frankel said in an interview.
West told Roll Call last month that he wasn’t concerned about his re-election, promising to keep working hard for his constituents even if redistricting makes his district more Democratic.
“If they think that we’ve done a good job up here these two years, they’ll send me back,” he said.
West recently told the Miami Herald that he isn’t “vulnerable” as much as he’s a target. “I’m a target because the Democrats are not used to anyone who will stand up and confront them,” he said.
Frankel, speaking recently with Roll Call after finishing fundraising calls for the day, said her strategy was simple: raise a lot of cash and highlight what she said is West’s “indefensible” record in Congress. As for the prospect of an intense race, she compared politics to football.
“They throw you to the ground, you get up and then you throw them to the ground,” she said. “They can throw me to the ground, but I promise you, I will always be getting up and going for the touchdown.”
The local GOP’s Dinerstein isn’t worried that West is in jeopardy: “At the end of the day, it won’t be close because Lois can’t get any crossover vote and Allen is a rock star.”
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