Will Trump Drag Down Mica With Him?

Outside Democratic groups are betting on it

Florida Republican Rep. John Mica has raised twice as much as Democratic challenger Stephanie Murphy, but Democratic outside groups are pouring money into the race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Florida Republican Rep. John Mica has raised twice as much as Democratic challenger Stephanie Murphy, but Democratic outside groups are pouring money into the race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 24, 2016 at 11:51am

Republican Rep. John L. Mica of Florida is known in his district for bringing home transportation money, but his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could hurt his chances of being re-elected. 

Mica described Trump’s comments about groping women, revealed earlier this month in a leaked 2005 video recording, as “vulgar and unacceptable” but he has not withdrawn his support for Trump’s candidacy, The Associated Press reported

“We’ve got to get everybody out to vote. Don’t let it get caught up in any of the other races or issues,” he told supporters last week, appearing to try to put some distance between himself and the GOP standard-bearer.

Mica has raised nearly twice as much money as his Democratic challenger, political newcomer Stephanie Murphy, but Democratic groups plan to spend $2.5 million to support Murphy — on top of the $1.6 million they have already spent.

One Republican told the AP that the National Republican Congressional Committee plans to start spending on the congressman’s behalf soon. Mica said he told the committee to stay out of the race unless he needs it.

“Right now, my ship is still afloat,” he said.

Mica, who was first elected to Congress in 1992, has a big name-recognition advantage over Murphy, who has held positions in the Pentagon and in the worlds of finance and academia. But in the recently redrawn district, four in 10 voters are new to Mica. The new district lines slightly increased the number of registered Democrats, younger voters, Hispanics and African-Americans. 

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race a Tossup.