Firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) may narrowly lose his re-election bid, burned by his own hot rhetoric — which his opponent turned against him — and burdened by GOP nominee Mitt Romney's weaker-than-expected showing in Florida.
In one of the costliest, nastiest and hardest-fought Congressional campaigns in the country, businessman Patrick Murphy led the freshman 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to the Associated Press. The race has not yet been officially called for Murphy, and 2,456 votes separate the two candidates with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
West, who could be both a partisan provocateur and a thoughtful, reasoned Congressman, is known to most Americans as the man who called Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "vile, unprofessional and despicable" and had charged that 78 to 81 Members of Congress were Communists.
His most over-the-top comments were featured heavily in Murphy's ads against West, alongside his votes for the GOP agenda.
But in a district with a nearly even partisan split, the top of the ticket may have done a lot to shift this race. And with President Barack Obama appearing to win the state, it seems as if West was unable to overcome the statewide trend.