Don't call it a comeback - Nelson rises above Mack in latest Florida Senate poll

We're not even certain if Mack will be the GOP nominee when the general election rolls around in November.

Yes, the Fort Myers-based Congressman has catapulted to the top of the polls because of name recognition since entering the race last fall, but negative newspaper accounts about Mack on a variety of fronts make the race still an open equation, with the last Republican standing being George LeMieux. Two other candidates in the race - Craig Miller and Adam Hasner - were so spooked by Mack's sensational debut in the polls that they bailed, instead running for congressional races that on paper at least give them a better chance of getting to Washington.

And Nelson's doing what he can to enhance his stature in this election year.

The Florida lawmaker is sponsoring the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which will require agencies to recognize relevant military training and skills when certifying veterans for federal occupational licenses. Instead of spending time retraining, veterans would be able to receive a federal license if it?s determined their military experience is enough to fulfill the license requirements.

In a press release Nelson said, ?Veterans are returning home having already done one of the most difficult, dangerous jobs out there. This is a way we can ease their transition back into civilian life, and remove some of the obstacles in their way.?

Statistics show that the unemployment rate among our veterans is 3 percentage points higher (12 percent to 9 percent) than the rest of the country.

The bill is being co-sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

It's only March, but it looks like George LeMieux's relentless attacks on Connie Mack in the GOP race for U.S. Senate are benefiting Democrat Bill Nelson.

How else to explain that the latest Quinnipiac poll now shows the venerable (and vulnerable) incumbent now up by 8 points over Mack, when a similar poll in January had the two in a virtual tie.

Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown attributes Nelson's rise to the female vote, again affirming (for now) the perception that Democratic charges of a Republican "war on women" seem to have some resonance.

"President Barack Obama's surge in Florida is helping Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election chances," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Just as President Obama's lead in the presidential race in the Sunshine State is fueled by female voters, so too is Nelson's. He also is running better among several groups, including whites and Catholics and voters 50 to 64 years old."

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