Connie Mack struggles to generate interest
DESTIN — If Republican Connie Mack IV is shouldering the burden of his party's control of the U.S. Senate, you wouldn't have known it last week as he finished a six-day bus tour of 17 cities in North and Central Florida.
In 26 stops, Mack drew modest crowds and meager media attention. The steady drip of negative poll numbers had him battling expectations as much as barbs from his challenger, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. And with about four weeks before early voting begins, the general public still seems ambivalent.
In the Republican stronghold of Destin on Thursday, Mack greeted about 25 supporters outside the Donut Hole cafe on U.S. 98, and then went inside to introduce himself to customers.
"Could you get us menus?" one elderly couple asked Mack, 45, the four-term congressman from Fort Myers, after he shook their hands. The congressman obliged.
None of it has cracked Mack's cool.
He has tethered his fortunes, his message and his strategy to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and confidently tells audiences, "If Mitt Romney wins, I win. If I win, Mitt Romney wins."