Florida's 18th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Florida's 18th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 14, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Patrick Murphy Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Republican Party
Ileana Ros Lehtinen.jpg

Florida U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Florida.png
The 18th Congressional District of Florida held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.
This is the 18th Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.

Patrick Murphy defeated incumbent Allen West (R) in a race that was too close to call for more than one week after the election.[1][2]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 8, 2012
August 14, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Florida is one of 21 states to use a strictly closed primary system.

Voter registration: Voters were required to register to vote in the primary by July 16, 2012, which was 29 days before the primary took place.[3] (Information about registering to vote)

See also: Florida elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), who was first elected in 1988. Ros-Lehtinen sought re-election in the 27th District

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Florida's 18th Congressional District is located in eastern Florida and includes St. Lucie and Martin counties, and part of Palm Beach county.[4]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Patrick Murphy Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Allen West
Democratic Party Marilyn Davis Holloman (Write in candidate)

August 14, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Independent Write in candidate

Election results

U.S. House, Florida District 18 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPatrick Murphy 50.3% 166,257
     Republican Allen West Incumbent 49.7% 164,353
     Write-In Marilyn Davis Holloman 0% 55
Total Votes 330,665
Source: Florida Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Florida District 18 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAllen West Incumbent 74.4% 45,761
Robert Crowder 25.6% 15,744
Total Votes 61,505

Race background


Florida's 18th District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[10]

Incumbent Allen West was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[11]

Blue vs. Red

Possible race ratings are:

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

     Florida's 18th District is a leaning Republican district.

Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law published a report on October 22nd focusing on the 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report, including the race for Florida's 18th. The report examines the relative spending presence of non-candidate groups, candidates, and small donors in these races - "which will likely determine which party will control the House."[12]

In June 2012, Sabato's Crystal Ball rated Florida's 18th as a leaning Republican district.[14]

Florida's 18th was also considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings.[15]


Patrick Murphy V. Allen West

Patrick Murphy V. Allen West
Poll Patrick Murphy Allen WestUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(October 25-26, 2012)
Frederick Polls
(October 17, 2012)
AVERAGES 47.5% 47% 5.5% +/-4.5 482
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Florida

Prior to redistricting the 18th District included portions of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The Miami-Dade section included most of the city of Miami, the South Beach section of Miami Beach, and many of the southern Miami suburbs, including Coral Gables and Coral Terrace. The Monroe County section of the district included all of the Florida Keys.

The 18th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[16][17]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Florida's 18th District's partisanship was unaffected by redistricting.[18]

  • 2012: 48D / 52R
  • 2010: 48D / 52R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Florida's 18th Congressional District has a PVI of R+1, which is the 229th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 51-49 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 51-49 percent over John Kerry (D).[19]

Campaign donors


Allen B. West announced that he raised over $4 million during the 3rd quarter of the year, leaving him with over $3 million cash on hand. He raised over $14.5 million over the course of the election cycle. Patrick Murphy raised $1.1 million in the 3rd quarter, leaving himself with around $400,000 on hand for the rest of the race.[20]

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. She defeated Roland A. Banciella (D) in the general election.[21]

U.S. House, Florida District 18 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngIleana Ros-Lehtinen Incumbent 68.9% 102,360
     Democratic Rolando A. Banciella 31.1% 46,235
Total Votes 148,595

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "Allen West falls further behind," accessed November 18, 2012
  2. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  3. Florida Department of State, "Register to Vote," accessed April 25, 2012
  4. Florida 2012 Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed July 5, 2012
  5. The Palm Beach Post News "Patrick Murphy switches to District 22, will challenge GOP firebrand West for Congress" accessed February 14, 2012
  6. Palm Beach Post "Frankel No Longer Running for Congress Against West" accessed May 6, 2012
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SOS
  8. 8.0 8.1 AP Results "U.S. House Results" accessed August 14, 2012
  9. Washington Post "Rep. Allen West to seek re-election in new district" accessed February 14, 2012
  10. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  11. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  12. Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
  13. The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings," updated October 18, 2012
  14. Center for Politics, "2012 House Ratings," Updated June 27, 2012
  15. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  16. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Florida's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  17. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  18. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Florida," September 2012
  19. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  20. National Journal, "West Raises Big, Spends Big," October 2, 2012
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013