Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Poll shows Florida gubernatorial candidate McCollum ahead of Sink

A recent poll says gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, left, has 34 percent support while Bill McCollum has 40 percent.

SCOTT KEELER | Times (2007)

A recent poll says gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, left, has 34 percent support while Bill McCollum has 40 percent.

A well-timed Mason-Dixon poll for Ron Sachs Communications came out last week with plenty of good news and bad for gubernatorial candidates Bill McCollum and Alex Sink.

Good news for McCollum: In a lousy climate for Republicans nationally, he was leading Sink with 40 percent support to 34 percent in the May 14-18 poll. The Republican attorney general was beating the Democratic chief financial officer by 10 points among independents and was tied among women voters (leading us to wonder if many people don't realize "Alex" Sink is really Adelaide Sink, a woman). Among Democrats, 17 percent backed McCollum, while only 6 percent of Republicans supported Sink.

Bad news for McCollum: He has run three statewide elections, and recently spent millions of dollars to star in televised "public service" commercials, and fewer than one-third of voters recognize him favorably. He's only slightly ahead of a candidate recognized favorably by just one in four voters.

A doomed campaign?

Kendrick Meek already is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, but we're wondering how much that nomination is worth now that Charlie Crist has announced for Senate. That Mason-Dixon poll showed Crist leading Democrats Meek or Dan Gelber by at least 30 points, and among Republican voters the governor was beating primary rival Marco Rubio 53 percent to 18 percent.

With plenty of other far less expensive states where Democrats are positioned to pick up U.S. Senate seats, one has to wonder how much money the national party will invest in taking on Crist. No wonder state Sen. Gelber of Miami Beach is talking about jumping from the U.S. Senate race into a campaign for attorney general.

"The terrain has changed quite a bit since Gov. Crist got into the race," Gelber told a group in Tampa on Friday. "I'm a U.S. Senate candidate. And I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the future I was an attorney general candidate."

Crist's sidekick

One of the more interesting things to watch this election cycle is whether Crist enthusiastically backs Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, who is expected to run for attorney general. Crist's former campaign manager and deputy attorney general, George LeMieux, last week pulled his name out of the mix for attorney general, so that should make the choice easier for Crist.

But Kottkamp has been a magnet for horrible publicity over his travel and security expenses, not exactly the candidate one wants to embrace amid tough fiscal times. On the other hand, Kottkamp's old boss is mega trial lawyer John Morgan, a major money-raiser and Crist backer. Snubbing Kottkamp could mean snubbing a big source of money for the Senate race.

A McBride on the ballot?

Speaking of personal injury lawyers, Orlando attorney Will McBride, who came in second behind Katherine Harris in the 2006 Republican U.S. Senate primary, also is testing the waters to run for attorney general.

Grading Rick Baker

What grade does St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker get for his performance? Mayoral candidate Scott Wagman gave him an A for innovative ideas and a B for working to gain the public trust. Wagman is on Political Connections on Bay News 9 today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8241.

Winner

of the week

Bob Graham. For years, Florida's former governor and senator has been ridiculed for keeping notebooks detailing every mundane detail of his daily life. Those Graham notebooks now have newfound respect. The CIA retracted its account that it briefed the former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman four times on enhanced interrogation techniques after Graham pulled out his notebooks that showed one briefing.

Loser

of the week

Charles Bronson. The veteran legislator and commissioner of agriculture (not to be confused with the Death Wish actor) never even had a chance to start a campaign for governor. Florida's GOP fundraisers and party leaders united around Attorney General Bill McCollum so quickly, it was as if Bronson was some kind of obscure rookie.

Poll shows Florida gubernatorial candidate McCollum ahead of Sink 05/23/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 23, 2009 7:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  2. Tampa police search for man in connection to Sunday killing (w/ video)

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police released surveillance video of a man they believe might have information about a Sunday morning fatal shooting.

  3. Pinellas announces Hurricane Irma make-up day

    Blogs

    The Pinellas County school district has announced how it will make up one of the seven school days missed by Hurricane Irma.

    Residents make their way into Joseph L. Carwise Middle School to shelter ahead of Hurricane Irma Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 in Palm Harbor. The storm is forecasted to affect the Tampa Bay area overnight with winds subsiding Monday.
  4. Hooper: Hillsborough marks 100th anniversary of historic photo collection

    Columns

    Everyone ends up with a favorite.

    Or two or three or 10.

    Rest assured, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.

    Part of the Burgert Brothers collection now featured through the Hillsborough Public Library shows a beer garden on Central Avenue in Tampa from July 1942. [Burgert Brothers collection]
  5. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and violated its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]