Poor Rep. Connie Mack IV. He's trying his damnedest to turn the fact that he shares his name with his ex-senator dad into a Senate career of his own, but the latest polls show him trailing boring old incumbent Bill Nelson by anywhere from 5 to 8 points (a practical landslide for Florida's deeply divided electorate).
Newspaper editorial boards aren't helping him much. While we're not sure that individual newspaper endorsements actually matter that much, it speaks volumes that just about no daily newspaper in the state has endorsed Mack over Nelson, yet.
Not only has Democrat Bill Nelson racked up all the endorsements of the dailies that serve major metro areas, he's even received the endorsements of the two main newspapers in Mack's own Southwest Florida Congressional District.
And a lot of the endorsements for Nelson aren't even bothering to be nice to Mack in the process.
The Orlando Sentinel:"Mack, a four-term U.S. House member from Fort Myers, has virtually no legislative accomplishments to call his own." [We're not really sure what's going on over there at Tribune Corp, but The Sun-Sentinel ran the exact same editorial].
The Tampa Tribune: "Mack, 45, has been boosted by his name, but he lacks the qualities of statesmanship so apparent in his father, Connie Mack III, the well-respected former U.S. senator. And unlike Florida's articulate Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Mack does not go deep into issues to win new support for his positions."
The Miami Herald: "Yet [Mack] has found it hard to gain traction against Sen. Nelson, relying on attack ads instead of offering a compelling vision of his own for Florida."
The Palm Beach Post: "Connie Mack IV has no business holding any elected office ...to get the job his father held he is running a campaign that relies on demagoguery and ignorance."
The Tampa Bay Times: "Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV of Fort Myers has run an uninspiring campaign and is not a viable alternative. Mack, 45, is the son of the former U.S. senator and counts on the family name and attack ads by third-party groups to make up for a lack of substance and significant legislative achievements. He has virtually copied his father's campaign slogan from 1988, agreed to just one debate in the entire campaign and avoided newspaper editorial boards, including this one."
Oh, sure, you say, how typical of these lamestream media newspapers that serve Florida's urban elite to trash a real conservative. What about those smaller papers that serve the parts of Real America Florida? Well, first of all, the majority of those papers have endorsed Mitt Romney in the presidential election. Second of all, even papers in Mack's own conservative Southwest Florida haven't endorsed him.
The Naples Daily News (one of the major newspapers in Mack's current congressional district): "Perhaps if there had been more than one debate between Mack and Nelson we would have seen a side of Mack that held out promise for him to become senatorial timber. We might have seen an ability by Mack to transcend the heavily Republican confines of Southwest Florida and be a leader -- connecting with a diverse state with multiple economic needs and priorities, and taking that back to Washington for action. We might have seen Mack drill deeper for responses beyond slogans to the pressing issues of our times.
But there were no such further opportunities."
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The Fort Myers News-Press (the other major paper in Mack's district): "Mack has been accused of not spending enough time in the district, and he has been sensitive to that, holding town hall meetings over the last few years."
Oh, alright. That one wasn't particularly scathing, but it's the nicest mention of Mack we could find.