Hasner polling memo: Mack riding family name only, vulnerable on immigration, support of Crist
Connie Mack has a "substantial" lead in Florida's Republican U.S. Senate primary but it's built entirely on family name and rivals can exploit some big vulnerabilities to catch up. And they have time, since not much attention has been paid to the race.
That's the take-away from an internal poll conducted for Adam Hasner's campaign.
"Success depends largely on our ability to bring our message to the voters," states a memo by Public Opinion Strategies that was sent to Hasner supporters. "If voters are equally informed about the candidates, our candidate wins."
Mack, son of the former U.S. senator, only recently entered the race and shot to the front of the GOP pack. The Hasner poll confirms that (though does not reveal numbers) but says Mack lacks definition. "Republicans do not favorably associate Mack with any issue or accomplishment," the memo says.
It goes on to list Mack's vulnerabilities:
- Voters are 76% less likely to vote for Congressman Mack when they learn about his comments comparing the Arizona immigration law to Nazi Germany and “like the Gestapo.”
- Voters are 69% less likely to vote for Congressman Mack when they learn that he was a loyal supporter of Charlie Crist.
- Voters are 66% less likely to vote for Congressman Mack when they learn he voted against the Cut, Cap and Balance plan in Washington.
Read the memo here, and why Hasner's team thinks he has a shot, even though he still lagged behind George LeMieux and Mike McCalister and Craig Miller before Mack was in the race. The poll says voters are 73 percent more likely to vote for Hasner when they learn of his support for a plan to allow more oil drilling off the coast of Florida.
"Once voters were informed with the background of the candidates (no negative information) Adam jumps to a 50 – 27 lead over Mack," the memo states.
A few notes. Mack has not shied away from his criticism of the Arizona law, but he has joined the chorus of advocates for a stronger border. He voted against the House GOP plan but not because he didn't like budget cuts; rather Mack took a harder line, saying the deal should not be tied to an increase in the debt ceiling.