by Javier ManjarresWhat does the recent Quinnipiac poll on the Republican Senate race here in Florida really mean? For one thing, it means that Mike McCalister’s 2010 Gubernatorial campaign has given him an edge in ‘Name ID’ over the rest of the crowded Republican field of candidates. What is interesting is that former U.S. Senator George LeMieux is lagging behind McCalister. Considering that he was in the Senate for 16 months, one would expect that Republicans would know who he was and favor him more at this juncture for the job over McCalister. But in fairness, LeMieux is within a few points of McCalister and doesn’t have the benefit of having run a statewide race just a year ago as McCalister already has.
Craig Miller is also enjoying the recognition due to the fact that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise his name recognition during his 2010 Congressional primary race. As far as Adam Hasner goes, he is quickly becoming the conservative establishment’s choice in the race, as he garnered endorsements from key conservatives and organizations like FreedomWorks, yet he is at the back of the pack in the poll. Spinsters will tout that like Marco Rubio did in his race , Hasner also finds himself in the same position early on in his campaign. However, this race is not the same as the Crist-Rubio battle that took place last election cycle, and a different dynamic is playing out.
WtBrnAgn Tot Men Wom Evnglcl Hasner 6% 6% 5% 6% LeMieux 12 13 10 9 Miller 8 10 6 8 McCalister 15 13 17 13 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 4 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 4 3 3 DK/NA 53 49 57 58
Will Senator George LeMieux be able to shake the stigma that he still is ‘a Charlie Crist Republican’, as he famously stated? Will Adam Hasner be able to shake the perception that he is a ‘greenie’ when it comes to energy? Will Craig Miller get past the perception that he supports illegal immigration after was recognized by the race-baiting hispanic group, La Raza? And will Mike McCalister’s questionable pro-life position hurt him with social conservative?
The clear winner of the Quinnipiac Poll are those supporting “Undecided”. But as the race begins to define itself more, the candidates can expect more press scrutiny and questions about the candidates’ pasts. It’s still very early in the campaign, and it remains to be seen if anyone of these candidates will have the staying power to survive the Republican primary and face Democrat Senator Bill Nelson. We shall see.