Road to the White House Runs Through FL U.S. Senate Race

As of June 26,  thirteen candidates have qualified to run against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (FL). Piotr Blass, Naomi Craine, Lionel Long, Robert Monroe and Sidney Lawrence Scott are write in candidates (WRI). Chris Borgia and Bill Gaylor qualified with no party affiliation (NPA). Glenn A. Burkett and incumbent Senator Bill Nelson are in the Democratic primary. Connie Mack, Mike McCalister, Marielena Stuart and Dr. Dave Weldon are running in the Republican primary. George LeMieux qualified but dropped out of the Republican primary race.

The only statewide election in Florida in November 2012 is for the U.S. Senate. The winner of the U.S. Senate race can help their party take the key state of Florida and thereby help their presidential candidate win the White House via the electoral college. 

In American history, only three Presidents have been elected without winning the popular vote. The latest was in 2000. There were a total of 538 electoral votes available with 270 needed to win. Republican George W. Bush, with 50,456,002 popular votes won 271 electoral votes. His Democratic opponent, Al Gore, won the popular vote with 50,999,897 votes, but won only 266 electoral votes. Bush was elected president. Florida took George Bush over the top in electoral votes.

In the Republican Primary race, the advantage goes to Connie Mack, who has name recognition,  has out-fundraised his primary opponents and is the only candidate being polled in a possible general election match up in November. Real Clear Politics gives Democratic Senator Bill Nelson a +8 point average lead.

Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald reports on a “mystery” push poll done immediately after George LeMieux dropped out of the Republican primary. Caputo writes, “Less than 20 minutes after LeMieux quit, an outfit that called itself ‘Florida Opinion Survey’ began polling Florida voters to test a number of political messages that undoubtedly will be used to boost incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and tear at Mack.”

Caputo analyzed all eight of the questions used in the push poll. For example, Caputo reports on the first question, which asked, “Nelson has supported ‘closing corporate tax loopholes,’ pulling the troops home and raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit by about $2 trillion.” According to Caputo, “The call fails to mention that, despite his years in the Senate, he has accomplished none of this and that he voted for the $800 billion stimulus program that also added to the debt.” To see the analysis of all eight push poll questions, go to Marc Caputo’s column in the Miami Herald.

After reviewing each question Caputo found only one factually true. Caputo concludes, “Hey, one out of eight ain’t bad — at least by the standards of our misleading politics.”