The lead story coming out of last night's election returns in Florida is the upcoming U.S. Senate race. As noted in today's Times, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is extremely vulnerable in his bid for a third six-year term against Republican Connie Mack — not because Mack is a better candidate, though obviously most Republicans probably agree that is the case.
No, Nelson has a couple of factors working against him. He's a 40-year career politician, which makes him automatically vulnerable (conceivably, that should make Pinellas' Bill Young as well, but that hasn't hurt him yet). He's not really exciting, and if you consider Barack Obama's record one of failure, then Nelson has indeed voted in "lockstep" with the president's signatures domestic achievements.
There's also the super PAC money that has been flowing to Mack, which is good for him, since he hasn't been receiving a whole lot from rank and file Republicans. And with control of the entire Senate up for grabs, national money will continue to flock to forces favoring Mack.
Connie Mack IV's biggest vulnerability is Connie Mack. He's not been a very distinguished member of Congress, but hey, he's got that name and that 'R' attached to him on the ballot. Nelson's campaign team is already reporting that Mack is being squishy about what debates he'll participate in, but, though political pundits always say this, one would have to believe that the debates between the two will be a big deal this fall.
As far as the other races that had high interest in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, read our story here.
Democrats believe if they just get their forces to the polls this November, they can get Barack Obama re-elected. The problem, according to a new USATODAY survey, is that while most of those voters considered "unlikely" support Obama, they also say they doubt they'll vote this year.
12 days to go before the convention, a new form of transportation created exclusively for the RNC and DNC was unveiled yesterday in Tampa.