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," Meek said in an interview with Bay News 9 and the St. Petersburg Times that aired Jan. 10, 2010. "They don't know who's going to win this race."
Meek, a Miami congressman serving his fourth term, is seeking the Senate seat originally held by Sen. Mel Martinez and now held by Sen. George LeMieux, both Republicans. Meek is facing former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre in the Democratic primary. Crist, the Florida governor, and Rubio, former speaker of Florida's House, are among the Republican candidates.
When it comes to November, are national prognosticators putting Democrats like Meek on equal footing with the GOP?
Congressional Quarterly's map lists Florida as "Likely Republican."
Stuart Rothenberg, an oft-quoted political analyst, currently has Florida's Senate race as "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 to keep their Florida Senate seat.
New York Times: "Likely Republican."
At the Washington Post, The Fix's Chris Cillizza does not list Florida among his 10 Senate seats most likely to switch parties.
At FiveThirtyEight.com, Florida ranks as the 13th-most likely seat to switch hands in November.
Struggling to find the word "tossup" anywhere associated with the Florida Senate race, we asked the Meek campaign for help.
They referred us to a blog post from the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 6, 2010. The post, entitled "2010 Tossups: A Rundown of the Most-Competitive Senate Races," includes Florida among 11 other races.
About Florida, 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."
That's the only example Meek's campaign provided and we didn't find any others on our own. Meek spokesman Adam Sharon says the ratings may change based on the shifting dynamics of the Republican primary, where Crist is quickly losing his front-runner status, but we're checking Meek's statement based on current predictions.
Meek says a number of national publications consider Florida's Senate race this fall a tossup. That number, however, appears to be just one. The overwhelming majority of pundits who attempt to predict election outcomes all have Republicans favored in the Sunshine State. Maybe the ratings will change. But they haven't yet. We rate Meek's claim Barely True.
Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.