Besides a contentious presidential election, Floridians are also voting on key congressional races this year.
Among those races is former congressman Alan Grayson's possible return to the U.S. House, as well as Rep. Allen West's, R-Florida, re-election where he faces off newcomer Patrick Murphy.
Right now, Grayson is (very) well positioned to win his race. West has out-raised Murphy by millions of dollars and has an edge in the polls.
Besides having similar names, these two men also happen to be firebrands for their respective parties.
West, a Tea Party Republican, has called Democrats a "threat to the gene pool," said there were Communists in the U.S. House, and has called Democratic National Committee Chair and fellow Floridian U.S. House member Debbie Wasserman-Schultz "despicable" and "not a lady."
Grayson, a Democrat, stood on the House floor during the health care law debates and said the Republican Party's health care plan was for people to "die quickly!" if they get sick.
According to The Washington Post, these men will likely face each other in the House as two of the most partisan people in American politics. The Post called them "the very embodiment of the hyperpartisanship that has gripped Washington in recent years, the best example of why it is likely to continue in the next Congress."
This election could produce a reverse result of 2010, returning Grayson to Washington, while short-circuiting West’s political career. Another plausible scenario is that both may win, giving Florida two of the most volatile and unapologetically partisan lawmakers in Washington.
“Just the potential of having Allen West and Alan Grayson serving at the same time in the same delegation is a fun scenario to think about,” said Nathan L. Gonzales, deputy editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. ... Neither Grayson nor West are known for securing final passage of significant legislation, and neither has a realistic shot at holding a leadership position or chairing a committee in the coming years. But both men can tie their political success and fundraising prowess to time spent on the national airwaves espousing outspoken views on the issues of the day.
West is running in a new district this year-- the 18th district-- because his old district was redistricted to favor a Democrat candidate more than before.