In 2012, 33 senate races will be contested. Of course, some will be decidedly easily, but many will probably be close. One that will probably be close is the Florida senate race, which will almost certainly pit Democrat Bill Nelson vs. Republican Connie Mack.
In elections for President, Florida has been a swing state. Obama won the state in 2008 (51 – 48) but Bush won in 2004 (52-47). In 2000, Florida was (in)famous for its closeness (remember the hanging chads?) Recent polling shows another close race; that, combined with the fact that Florida has a lot of electoral votes, will mean that both Romney and Obama will spend a lot of time and money on this state.
Statewide, one of Florida’s senators is a Republican (Marco Rubio, who is being mentioned as a possible VP choice for Romney) and one is a Democrat (Bill Nelson, who is running for re-election). Its governor (Rick Scott) is a Republican. 19 of its 25 representatives in the House are Republicans.
The Senate race in Florida
Bill Nelson is currently the senior senator from Florida; he was first elected in 2000, when he narrowly beat Bill McCollum. Prior to that he was a member of the House from Florida. There are at least 5 Republicans running, but Connie Mack IV has a big lead in the polls.
Update Aug 14 – Connie Mack has won the primary, as expected
Bill Nelson: The Democratic candidate for senate from Florida:
Bill Nelson is running for re-election. He supports a woman’s right to choose. Nelson supported TARP and the auto bailout. He is a moderate proponent of equal rights for GLBT people, and got a 89 (of 100) rating from Human Rights Campaign. Bill Nelson is a supporter of public education and got a 91 rating from the National Educational Alliance. He is also a moderate supporter of the environment and a proponent of alternate energy, and got a 79 rating from League of Conservation Voters. He also got a 77 rating from the AFL-CIO. On the Issues rates him a moderate liberal on both social and economic issues.
Connie Mack IV: The Republican candidate for Senate from Florida:
Connie Mack IV is a member of the House of Representatives. Mack opposes a woman’s right to choose. He voted to prohibit same-sex marriage, for greater penalties for a variety of crimes and for more oil drilling. Mack voted to defund solar and other alternative energy and against an increase in the minimum wage. On the Issues rates him a moderate conservative on both social and economic issues.
Most recent polls of the Florida senate race show Nelson leading by between 5 and 10 points.
- May 25: A Marist poll shows Nelson up by 4 and a Quinnipiac poll shows Mack up by 1; but the latter poll has been criticized for including too many Republicans in the sample.
- June 7: A PPP poll has Nelson up by at least 11.
- June 21: A Quinnipiac poll has Nelson up by 4 over Mack (note change from previous Q poll).
- July 11: A Rasmussen poll has Mack up by 9 over Nelson.
- July 13: A Mason Dixon poll has Nelson up by 5 over Mack
- July 21: A Survey USA poll has Mack up by 6
- Aug 1: A Quinnipiac poll has Nelson up by 7; a PPP poll has him up by 2
- Aug 17: A Rasmussen poll has Nelson up, 47-40.
- Aug 23: A Quinnipiac poll has Nelson up by 9; one by Gravis Marketing has Nelson up by 7
- Sep 4 A PPP poll has Nelson leading Mack by 7
- Sep 11 Survey USA has Nelson up by 11
- Sep 14 NBC Marist has Nelson up by 14
- Sep 17 Rasmussen has Nelson up by 7
- Sep 20 Fox News has Nelson up by 14
- Sep 21 We Ask America has Nelson by 5
- Sep 22 Mason Dixon has Nelson by 8
- Sep 25 PPP has Nelson by 9; the Washington Post has him up by 14
- Sep 26 Quinnipiac has Nelson up by 14
- Oct 2 Gravis has it tied
- Oct 3 Suffolk U. has Nelson by 5
- Oct 8 Rasmussen has Nelson by 11
- Oct 11 Marist has Nelson up by 13
- Oct 13 Mason Dixon has Nelson up by 5
- Oct 15 PPP has Nelson up by 8
- Oct 16 Rasmussen has Nelson up by 1
- Oct 17 Univ. of North Florida has Nelson up by 10; YouGov has him up by 5
- Oct 22 Survey USA has Nelson by 8; Rasmussen has Nelson by 2
- Oct 23: Angus Reid has Nelson by 17; Rasmussen has Nelson by 5; Survey USA has Nelson by 8
- Oct 24: PPP has Nelson by 4
- Oct 25: Pharos Research has Nelson by 8
- Oct 28 – PPP has Nelson ahead by 8
- Oct 30 – Mason Dixon has Nelson up by 3, PPP by 8, Rasmussen by 3, Voter Survey by 5; SurveyUSA by 8
- Nov 1 – Quinnipiac has Nelson by 13; Gravis by 3; Reuters by 10
- Nov 3 – Reuters has Nelson by 12
- Nov 5 – Reuters has Nelson by 15; Mason Dixon has him up by 6; Marist by 9. PPP by 5 and YouGov by 6
- Nov 6 – Angus Reid has Nelson by 8
Nelson has raised almost $12 million, Mack just over $2 million (note that Mack entered the race relatively late).
- July 12 In the last quarter, Nelson raised $1.8 million and has $11 million cash on hand. Mack raised $840 thousand and has $1.4 million cash on hand
Election results: http://useleckionatlas.org/RESULTS/
Fundraising and other stuff http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/FL-Senate_Class_I_Seat
Florida congreesmembers: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
On the issues: Mack: http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/Connie_Mack.htm