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Florida strategists insisted the entrance of Rep. Connie Mack IV into the Florida Senate race would make him the instant GOP frontrunner. Now, a public poll shows, their prediction was right.
A new Quinnipiac University Poll showed Mack, the son of former Sen. Connie Mack III (R-Fla.), well ahead of his GOP rivals. In a horserace matchup, 32 percent of registered Republicans picked Mack. Former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) got 9 percent, retired Col. Mike McCalister got 6 percent and former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and former Ruth's Chris CEO Craig Miller got 2 percent.
When Mack was matched up with two-term Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) among all registered voters, it was a statistical dead heat. Nelson got 42 percent and Mack pulled in 40 percent.
The good news for Nelson, however, was that his job approval rating was at 47 percent, better than his August low of 42 percent.
While this is a good early sign for Mack, a key marker of the seriousness of his campaign will be his fourth-quarter fundraising numbers, which will come out in January.
The poll was conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 among 1,185 registered Florida voters, including 513 Republicans. The margin of error among Republicans was 4.3 points, while the margin of error for the whole survey sample was 2.9 points.
Roll Call rates the Florida Senate race Leans Democratic.