- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Hasner tops Times poll as choice to face Nelson in 2012
GOP sees incumbent vulnerable in tough cycle
Former Florida Republican state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner has narrowly won a poll of state conservatives meeting in Orlando, giving his campaign fresh momentum in the tight contest for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.
Mr. Hasner took 34 percent of the vote, with businessman Mike McCalister second with 30 percent of the vote and former Sen. George LeMieux third at 24 percent. Craig Miller, another businessman and restaurateur, finished fourth with 12 percent..
The poll, co-sponsored by The Washington Times, was conducted at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando this week. Florida Republicans who heard the party’s top presidential candidates square off in a debate Thursday night will hold a presidential straw poll over the weekend.
A total of 1,501 CPAC delegates took part in the poll, which was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates on behalf of Florida CPAC and The Washington Times.
Mr. Hasner has benefited from endorsements from the tea party organizing group FreedomWorks and from influential RedState.com blogger Erik Erickson. Mr. McCalister is a businessman and former Army colonel who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP gubernatorial nomination last year. Mr. Miller is also a military veteran and businessman who used to run the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse chain.
The crowded field reflects the fact that state Republicans see Mr. Nelson, a longtime figure in Florida politics now finishing up his second term in the Senate, as a prime candidate to be knocked off in the 2012 cycle. Democrats next year will have to defend 21 seats — plus two held by independents who caucus with the party — while just 10 Republican seats are on the ballot. A net gain of four seats would give Republicans control of the upper chamber.
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week appears to confirm Mr. Nelson’s vulnerability. Just 44 percent of Floridians surveyed said the senator deserved a third term. Anything under 50 percent is considered a warning sign for an incumbent, especially one as well known in his state as is Mr. Nelson. Despite the doubts, the poll found that 45 percent of voters approved of Mr. Nelson’s job performance in Washington, compared to 32 percent who disapproved.
The Quinnipiac poll of 1,007 voters had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
While Florida had been a critical swing state in recent presidential elections, the midterms in 2010 have given the GOP momentum in the state. With the election of Republican Gov. Rick Scott and
Sen. Marco Rubio — whom many see as a possible vice presidential candidate next year — Mr. Nelson is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida.
Another Quinnipiac poll this month found that Floridians disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance by a 57 percent to 39 percent margin, the biggest negative score for Mr. Obama in any state. Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would defeat Mr. Obama in a head-to-head race, according to the poll, while Texas Gov. and GOP frontrunner Rick Perry is in a statistical tie with the president.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
- SANDS: Shark attack: Miami wins first U.S. Chess League title
- SANDS: Magnus Carlsen's future bright as the new king of chess
- Norway's Magnus Carlsen wins world chess title
- Magnus Carlsen on verge of world chess title with quick win over champion
- SANDS: Carlsen close to chess title as Anand cracks under endgame pressure
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow