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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Q poll: It's game on between Connie Mack and Bill Nelson



connie-mack-cpac.jpgU.S. Rep. Connie Mack is blowing away his rivals in the GOP U.S. Senate primary and in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Mack gets 40 percent to Nelson's 42.

Mack just entered the race and is benefiting from name recognition. His father, Connie Mack III, is a former U.S. senator.

“The entrance of Congressman Connie Mack into the Senate race changes what had been shaping up as an easy reelection for Sen. Bill Nelson into a tough fight that the incumbent could lose,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The fact that Mack is essentially tied with Nelson, who has been a statewide political figure for two decades, should set off warning bells at Democratic headquarters.”

In the primary, Mack takes 32 percent of the vote in the Republican primary vs. George LeMieux with 9 percent; Mike McCalister with 6 percent; and Craig Miller and Adam Hasner each at 2 percent.

"These numbers show that Floridians have had enough of Bill Nelson's liberal bidding for Barack Obama in the US Senate; that Republicans are ready to nominate a candidate who will bring the Nelson-Obama liberal agenda to an end, and that there is a groundswell of support for Connie Mack as the candidate to defeat Nelson," Mack spokesman David James said.

LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix scoffed, "Congressman Connie Mack inherited a popular name. Once Republican voters realize Congressman Mack is not his father, voted for trillions in deficit spending and wasteful pork, and voted to raise his own Congressional salary, his support will collapse.”

Nelson's campaign also played down the poll: "With the election more than a year away Sen. Nelson's just focused on doing his job.  He's always believed if you do your job the politics will take care of itself.  And this new poll shows Floridians really like the job he's been doing by a margin of 47-27.  And he has a huge lead among centrist independents who most likely WILL decide the race, because folks are tired of all the political partisanship."

Despite questions about inaccuracies in his family's Cuban immigrant story, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's approval rating remains the same from September. He receives a 49 – 29 percent score.

From the poll:"Gov. Rick Scott’s job approval remains in the toilet: 36 percent approve of his job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. Among independent voters, the key to carrying Florida, Scott has a 56 – 29 percent disapproval rating. Scott gets a 67 – 22 percent thumbs up among Republicans, but a 73 – 14 percent thumbs down from Democrats. He does okay with men, who split 43 – 46 percent, but woman say no way 55 – 30 percent."

From October 31 – November 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,185 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 513 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.

More detail here.

[Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2011 4:57pm]


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