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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill McCollum's campaign sinking



Attorney General Bill McCollum's once-certain path to the Republican nomination for governor is in trouble, Mccollum_126525g   with supporters for the first time voicing anxiety about his chances and questioning his strategy. Trailing newcomer Rick Scott by 13 points in a recent statewide poll and unable to match Scott's millions of dollars in TV ads, McCollum looks vulnerable. It's a stunning shift for a seasoned politician who seemed to have a lock on the race just two months ago.

Supporters fault McCollum's TV message, inability to connect with an angry electorate, fundraising shortcomings and a dated campaign style, emphasizing endorsements from establishment figures such as Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney at a time when voters are alienated.

In an interview, McCollum acknowledged "angst" among supporters but predicted he would triumph as the only "battle-tested" Republican running for governor. "The person who has a record for everybody to see is going to be there," McCollum said. "On the other hand, there's a fellow (Scott) that people don't know who he is, and when they find out who he is, it's not going to be a pretty picture."

But he has some convincing to do in his own camp. "To put it in marketing terms, McCollum's brand is not well-identified despite a long career of service to Florida," said Greg Truax, a Tampa grass-roots volunteer who has donated to McCollum's campaign. "General McCollum needs to communicate the fundamental points of difference with Rick Scott."

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:42am]


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