U.S. Rep. John Mica is working it. He’s working it hard, perhaps like the 12-term Republican congressman has never had to do literally in decades. He’s working it as if, for the first time ever, his political career depends on it.
“We have more people on the ground than anybody. We’ve gone door to door. We’ve telephoned. Whatever we can cost-effectively, to get to folks. Because we’ll be outspent four or give to one,” said Mica, a Republican from Winter Park.
Mica is in a real battle with Democratic nominee Stephanie Murphy, also of Winter Park, in a race that has become a cause for national Democratic groups who’ve backed her will millions of dollars in finances and a long list of impressive Democratic figures.
For the first time, when Mica talks about being an underdog in his district, he might be telling the truth. At the very least, public opinion polling all has the contest in the margin of error. It’s been a decade since a Mica opponent even came within 20 points of him. But CD 7 is different now, redrawn to have a slight Democratic lean and a much younger, more diverse voter base than the ones that have elected or re-elected him 12 times in a row.
On Sunday he and 135 volunteers fanned out across the Goldenrod area of Orange and Seminole counties to knock on doors and press his final argument to stay in Congress. Then he headed out to the Bitho area to do the same. Monday found him in Sanford, working the tables at the Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe and the sidewalks of downtown Sanford.
“We covered thousands of households,” he said of Sunday’s canvassing efforts. “It was the biggest turnout we’ve ever had,” Mica said.
Is there a sense of desperation? Mica sees it more of his