A new Quinnipiac University poll shows U.S. Rep. Connie Mack way ahead of the GOP U.S. Senate field and in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Mack gets 40 percent to Nelson's 42. In the primary, Mack gets 32 percent of the vote in the GOP primary, while none of the other four mostly unknown aspirants get more than 9 percent, the independent survey finds.
"The entrance of Congressman Connie Mack into the Senate race changes what had been shaping up as an easy re-election 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."
Mack takes 32 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, appointed to that post to fill the term of Mel Martinez, is next with 9 percent, followed by Mike McCalister, a retired colonel in the Army reserves, with 6 percent and businessman Craig Miller and former state House Rep. Adam Hasner each with 2 percent.