New poll shows Bill Nelson will be in a dogfight to get a third term in the Senate

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Mack is also polling extremely well in a one-on-one duel with incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, with the two ranked in a virtual tie (officially Nelson is at 41 percent, Mack at 40 percent).


Florida voters are honest enough to admit that more than half of them (54 percent) don't know nearly enough about Mack yet, not that it prevented them from giving an opinion to the Quinnipiac pollster on who they'll vote for.


According to his last financial report, Nelson has raised over $7.5 million in his campaign for re-election. With Mack's inclusion in the contest, a race considered by most D.C.-based political experts to be "leaning Democrat" has moved into the "too close to call" category. That has to worry Washington Dems, considering there is a solid chance their control of that body is very much in doubt.


There are currently 51 Democrats in the Senate, 47 Republicans, and two independents. The Democrats' chances of maintaining their superiority took a blow recently when Nebraska's Ben Nelson announced he would not run for re-election.


Nelson's strategy was to coast all year long while the Republicans battled their brains out until their August 14 primary. But if Mack continues to maintain his stratospheric lead, the Nelson-Mack battle, including expensive television ads, could begin much earlier than late summer.


UPDATE: Democratic pollster David Beattie issued an e-mail to reporters later Wednesday, questioning the methodology of the Quinnipiac poll. He wrote,

"The results raise some concerns because more Republicans than Democrats are interviewed, which is not going to happen on election day in Florida.
They model that 32% of the turnout will be Republican, 29% Democrat and 32% Independent in the 2012 election, this is NOTHING like what the reality will be. There will be a net 2 percentage point or more Democratic registration advantage on election day.
The sample of the poll appears three to four points more Republican than the 2012 electorate will be, meaning the votes do not reflect the potential outcome in the Florida
.

  • Connie Mack

Connie Mack is now the Man in the GOP race for Senate

For most of 2011, the Florida Republican race for U.S. Senate was a very ho-hum affair, with the four major candidates dueling to see how much they could appease the Tea Party, which has dominated the RPOF over the past two years.

If for no other reason than the power of name recognition, that race was thoroughly shaken by Fort Myers-area Congressman Connie Mack's entrance into the contest late last year. In fact, if this were a boxing match, there would be considerable discussion today about the other candidates refusing to come out of their respective corners.

A new Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday morning shows that Mack, who hasn't done much other than announce he's running, is blowing away competitors George LeMieux, Adam Hasner, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller.

Here's the breakdown:
Mack 39 percent
LeMieux 6 percent
McCalister 6 percent
Hasner 2 percent
Miller 1 percent

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