by Javier ManjarresRasmussen Reports’ most recent poll of the Republican primary Senate race in Florida has Congressman Connie Mack besting Democrat Senator Bill Nelson by a healthy 7 points. Prior to this most recent poll, Mack and Nelson were tied at 41% apiece about a month ago, and a November poll had Mack leading Nelson by 4 percent. The most recent poll also has Nelson besting both Republican George LeMieux and Mike McCalister in head to head match ups.
While Mack can sit back for a moment and enjoy his lead in latest the latest poll, Mack’s popularity could be in question- right in the heart of the his base of support. At a recent Eagle Forum luncheon in Naples, the Senate race was all the buzz among the attendees of the event. For some, Mack is perceived as somewhat smug and disconnected from his constituents. That said, the attendees who brought their concerns up with Mack, also said that they would probably vote for him over George LeMieux.
Like we’ve indicated before, LeMieux is a very formidable opponent to Mack. While the recent attack ads that LeMieux has put out against Mack have backfired a bit, LeMieux can only go up vs. Mack, and Mack needs to realize that he is in a contested primary until August and then will face the full weight of the Democrat political machine in the general election.
Another issue that Mack may come across is the perception that he is not accessible to likely voters. LeMieux has been popping up just about everywhere around the state, and many Tea Party activist types are starting to give LeMieux a second look, some even considering thar they should back LeMieux outright.
Congressman Mack has been somewhat absent from the campaign trail since his official campaign kick-off earlier this year. Mack has only held a handful of events and voters are starting to wonder if he is really serious about the Senate seat. In all fairness to Mack, he has been in the Congress, and is juggling a wife, kids and a Senatorial campaign.Both Mack and LeMieux are fairly substantive on the issues, however Mack occasionally comes across as dismissive towards constituents and oftentimes talks about certain issues only with political platitudes.
Most people you speak to think that Mack has this race all locked up, but even many of them have reservations about whether or not Mack’s heart is even in the race. Mack is going to have to extend himself and reach out to Floridians if he expects to earn the privilege of represent the people of Florida in the U.S. Senate, or he runs the risk of letting LeMieux out-campaign him and perhaps steal away his presumed Republican nomination.