Florida U.S. Senate Race: A Source Of Concern For Republicans

Unfortunately a GOP frontrunner does not seem to be emerging in Florida’s 2012 U.S. Senate race., and this should be a source of concern for Republicans in the Sunshine State and around the country. The GOP needs to net at least four seats to take control of the U.S. Senate, and a competitive race in Florida would certainly help that cause. The Tampa Tribune’s William March weighs in:

The GOP primary to choose an opponent for Sen. Bill Nelson next year is unsettled, with no clear frontrunner, most voters undecided and no candidate sweeping the party as Marco Rubio did in 2010.

A surprising Quinnipiac University poll of GOP voters recently showed the two most prominent candidates, George LeMieux and Adam Hasner, upstaged by comparative unknowns, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller, but with a large majority undecided.

That was after the best-funded Republican, state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, surprisingly dropped out last month.

The results showed McCalister leading with 15 percent, LeMieux with 12 percent, Miller 8 percent and Hasner 6 percent – but 60 percent said they didn’t know, wanted another candidate or wouldn’t vote.

Polls this early usually measure only name recognition, or possibly just voter’s reaction to the sound and perceived ethnicity of the names, experts say.

A straw poll Sept. 23 during the state GOP’s Presidency 5 state convention in Orlando may clarify things, providing a look at how a large, statewide group of party activists view the field.

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