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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fla Sen poll: Undecided 49%, Mack 39%, LeMieux 6, McCalister 5, Hasner 1



News Service of Florida: U.S. Rep. Connie Mack hasa strong lead on his competitors for the GOP nomination to take onDemocratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, according to a new poll by TelOpinionResearch.


The survey of 780 Republican voters, conducted from Dec. 15-19, showsMack -- the son of a former senator and grandson of a famous baseballmanager -- carrying 39 percent of the vote, far outpacing the rest of thefield.

Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, tea-party favorite Mike McCalister andformer state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner all trailed insingle-digits. Former steakhouse executive Craig Miller, who was notincluded in the poll, has long been stuck in single-digits in otherpolls.

"Mack owns this at the moment, and it is his to lose," said Bill Lee, aRepublican pollster who co-founded TelOpinion and polled contestedprimary states for U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential bid in 2008.Lee's firm is not working for any of the candidates or so-called SuperPACs this cycle.

LeMieux had the largest share of the votes among the three contendersother than Mack included in the poll, with 6 percent. McCalister, who hadshown some strength in earlier surveys, was at 5 percent. Despite winninga straw poll of statewide conservative activists earlier this year inOrlando, Hasner draws just 1 percent of the vote in the latest poll.

Mack's support is strong across the board. He has 48 percent of the voteamong tea-party supporters and 38 percent among those who don't considerthemselves members of the movement. Mack would get votes from Republicansacross the ideological spectrum, from those who consider themselves"liberal" to those who consider themselves "very conservative," accordingto the poll.

While LeMieux cracks double-digits in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale mediamarket with 12 percent, Mack dominates the rest of the state, includinggetting the support of 65 percent of the voters in his home media marketof Fort Myers-Naples.

But the poll also shows that a strong plurality of Republicans have yetto make up their mind about the race. Of those surveyed, 49 percent saidthey weren't sure which candidate they would back in the primary. Thepoll has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

"This is essentially a contest based on name ID at this point," Lee said.

The poll largely jives with an earlier survey by Quinnipiac University,which found Mack getting 32 percent of the vote in the primary, with theother candidates all trailing in single digits.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:13pm]


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