Rep. Connie Mack is now officially the Republicans' nominee for Florida's senate race, but his easy win in last week's primary didn't give him much of a boost in the polls. A new Rasmussen Reports poll, a firm that's independent but tends to produce results that are kinder to Republicans, shows that Sen. Bill Nelson is up seven points against Mack.
That's not good news for Mack. He desperately needs to show that he can be competitive with Nelson in order to attract money.
The latest survey shows that 47 percent of Florida's likely voters prefer Nelson. Forty percent prefer Mack. Three percent like some other candidate, and 10 percent are undecided.
Nelson's recent ad buy, which went negative against and highlighted his drunken youthful shenanigans and past work experience as a promoter for Hooter's events, may have played a part in hurting Mack's image. Reports Rasmussen:
Those ads may have played a role in the rising negatives for Mack. Twenty-two percent (22%) now regard him Very Unfavorably, up eight points from a month ago. Just 14% of Florida Voters have a Very Favorable view of Mack. Nelson's numbers have improved over the past month. He is now viewed Very Favorably by 21% and Very Unfavorably by 18%.
This isn't very good news for Mack.
Naked Politics has an interesting take from this weekend's "Legitimate Rape" fiasco concerning Ted Akin, Sen. Claire McCaskill's Republican rival in her reelection bid. National super PACs who were eagerly supporting Akin's bid, but may let up on that race thanks to the controversy and start throwing their money towards other races, like Mack's. Well, in theory anyway.
Think about it. When you're a big-money Republican group, you don't care so much about individual candidates. All you want is to make sure your party takes control of the Senate, and to do that, the GOP just needs to hold all existing Republican seats and pick up four Democratic seats.
Florida however is a big, complicated state to fund. It takes a lot of money to win here. National money might not come pouring in droves unless the race looks really competitive. This is partially why Florida's incumbent senators rarely lose in re-election. Paula Hawkins, a Republican, was the last to do so in 1986 when she was defeated by Bob Graham, who, as Governor, had a much higher profile than Hawkins.
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So Mack needs to start polling higher, and needs to do so real quick.
Money wise, it might be a smarter investment for Republican donors to fund Senate candidates in smaller states that actually have a chance of winning.