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Can the Florida Senate race be salvaged?

Can the Florida Senate race be salvaged?

I have not followed the Florida Senate race, and the attempt to unseat Bill Nelson, very closely.

But I did post a couple of general items about it last Fall:

My focus has been elsewhere, but this is unexpected and not good news:

Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson now posts double-digit leads over all three of his Republican challengers in Florida’s 2012 U.S. Senate race.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters shows Nelson with 47% support to 36% for Congressman Connie Mack, his leading GOP opponent….

For Mack, who has been criticized in recent weeks for running a tepid campaign, the numbers are a sizable setback from early March when he was slightly ahead. In February, the two were tied.

Nelson, elected to the Senate in 2000 to fill the seat vacated by Mack’s father, posts a 44% to 30% lead over former Senator George LeMieux…. Businessman Mike McCalister trails Nelson 48% to 29%.

What is going on in Florida?  Can it be salvaged?


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Off topic but notable.

I see the Don Surber has hung it up after 7 years of blogging.

He went “comment dark” Wednesday afternoon, then posted a “Goodbye” today.

nowhere2gobutup | April 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

It is way to early to know how this will go. Mack has name recognition, but is viewed as a Rino. McCallister is very popular with the Tea Party. Lemieux has some popularity, but still has the stench of Charlie Christ on him. Once the august primary is over, and the is only one, I predict it will be +- 2. Then the fun begins.

DINORightMarie | April 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

My sister lives in Florida and says that many in the state don’t trust the “typical” FL Republicans. It is more about corrupt politicians and unreliable records on issues (think Crist). She says that Jeb Bush was not considered a good governor by many because of various in-state issues he flubbed. No specifics, though.

She is a left-leaning 50-something, so I take it all with a grain of salt; but, from what I’ve seen and read, she is just telling me the general feelings of those in the state say about their politicians overall.

If the Republican candidate doesn’t get a fire going – fast, the majority will go with “the one they know.” In other words, the incumbent.

    I R A Darth Aggie in reply to DINORightMarie. | April 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    One of the things Jeb “flubbed” is People’s First, the state’s benefits package privatized management. No one likes them, they’re difficult to use and generally a pain in the ass. I think this is just a case of picking the cheapest vendor, not necessarily the best vendor. But…

    The other accusation against Jeb, and this applies to People’s First, is that his buddies and campaign donors won contracts and bids for privatization efforts. Now maybe they are the best vendors, but it doesn’t look kosher.

    As for the candidates, I’m thinking Connie Mack the XXIII or whatever doesn’t have the temperment for the Senate.

    I’ve heard Colonel McCalister on our local morning talk show, and he’s a good guy, and solid conservative. He is an excellent choice.

    I’ve heard Senator LeMieux on that same radio show, and he’s an acceptable choice. He doesn’t have that much of Orange Charlie Christ on him as you might expect. When Orange Charlie bolted the part, LeMieux stepped back and criticized the Orange for leaving.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the polls at this point. We’ll see what happens when the general election comes around, and Nelson’s lead starts getting chipped away.

    LeMieux and Mack have been beating each other up in their advertising. McCalister might be able to slip in and steal it out from under them.

One wonders if the “Jeb Bush for Senate” is in the making.

    No. Not a chance. Jeb Bush is currently damaged goods. He might be able to be rehabilitated over the next couple of years into something useful in terms of national office, but right now he would get trounced.

    Even if he CAN be rehabilitated though, there is an open question as to if he SHOULD be considered given he’s not a Conservative or a fighter; he’s a “go along to get along” type with RINO tendencies.

I don’t follow Florida politics, but did see something in passing recently about Connie Mack being a prima dona and very difficult to get along with. He doesn’t seem to be helping his cause. I’ll see if I can find something specific.

The two local bloggers I followed are:

Javier at Shark Tank,

Sarah at … who interestingly just moved to Massachusetts to support Sean Bielat’s campaign. Get ready to watch that. She is a great one.

1) Connie Mack is OK, not great, but better than GL possibly. Mack is bit of an absentee Congressmen, and I think he will get crucified on that in the statewide if he wins the primary. Given his name and profile and Congressional service, he looks good on paper — even if not as conservative as I’d like — but if your wife represents a district in CA and you split your time between DC, CA and FL … and you smack of being a career DC insider that has it handed to you with the family name, you’d better do more than dial it in.

2) LeMieux, who as another commenter says – has the stench of corruption around him. The swamp doesn’t end at the end of the wildlife areas. The FL GOP does stink, even if there are some fine individuals and an active base. And LeMieux is way to close to all the Crist stuff. That’s said if he’s best we can do.

3) Some conservatives really like McCalister, but he has never caught fire more broadly even with Republicans, who in FL clearly have shown an ability to embrace Allen West, Marco Rubio, etc. … so I am happy to take a closer look at him. My worry is just electability – and I support lots of conservative long shots with money, so no RINO love here from me.

I’ll vote for whomever is most conservative potential winner, and look forward to more vetting …

Its bad enough that despite all this, Atwater, the state CFO was mulling a very late entry (and then declined). Given the name recognition of the others in the state, that indicates concern over the field.

I don’t know where my vote will go, and I think it will tighten up once the primary gets locked up. But I don’t feel great about this one.

The worst part is that we need something down ticket to help with the presidential and vice-versa … and its just not happening. It will tighten, but there is no Rubio this year to take on Nelson.

Early on, Allen West looked smart to stay out given the fund raising needed, lack of Republican establishment support (not that it helped Crist), and the name recognition of the others, but now I wish he had thrown his hat in the right. He could have nabbed the primary and drawn national support. Still happy to support him in the Congressional bid!

nowhere2gobutup | April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

The sad thing is, alot of people vote for Connie Mack because they think he is his father.

I live in the Tampa Bay area, and it hasn’t helped any of the Republican candidates that Florida newspapers like the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times (aka St Pete Times) are boosters for Sen Nelson. But Nelson’s chances for 2012 are helped immeasurably by the weak candidates. LeMieux can’t get rid of the Crist stench, and I’m not convinced he wants to. McAlister is an unknown quantity with questions about his military record. Mack has been AWOL and too often silent, when Nelson has been grandstanding with stupid statements about voting rights or speculators driving up oil prices. This was a Senate seat the Republicans should have been able to pick up, but I don’t think it’s likely with these candidates.

I liked LeMieux when he was our Senator. He had a pretty conservative voting record. He also kept his word not to run in the 2010 election. I intend to vote for him in the primary. I really don’t feel any “stench” from Crist.

    strawberrygirl in reply to RickCaird. | April 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I feel the same way. He was always responsive whenever I called his office and seemed to listen to public outrage and respond accordingly unlike bill Nelson. Mack lost my favor when he started heckling newt at rallies as a Romney supporter.

    Truthfully I feel like there has been a news blackout regarding the senate primary race. I expected to vote months ago when I voted for Gingrich. I listen, watch and read a lot of news but feel completely in the dark.

Uncle Samuel | April 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Connie Mack made negative noises against the Ryan budget. People are disgusted with the debt and insane deficit spending. They want a budget whether Ryans, Rand Paul’s or Pat Toomey’s.

We would like to have accountability and a good budget plan to create hope, and a legally binding law to make them stick with it.

I wouldn’t get too concerned about this yet. Once there’s a set card of candidates I expect that the polling will tighten up quite a bit. Sen. Nelson has the benefit of name recognition and that he has been grandstanding while his three potential challengers are still tearing at each-other.

Once the (R) candidate doesn’t have to worry about being attacked from both sides, you’ll see the race firm up as people become clear as to their actual choices.

[…] activity. I was first alerted to this by our friend William Jacobson who posed the question, “Can Florida be salvaged?” Having been unaware that the Sunshine State was in any imminent danger of being […]