The Fort Myers-based Congressman derided Nelson as being a "lockstep liberal" with President Obama, and the Trib admits that its view would be different "if there was a strong conservative alternative, someone like Jeb Bush who approaches issues with intellectual honesty, not slogans."
But alas, there is no Jeb on the ballot, and the Trib's editorial stated that Mack "lacks the qualities of statesmanship" that his father, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack III, possessed.
The conventional wisdom is that the Senate race is Nelson's to lose, with analysts pointing to the Real Clear Politics average of the Democrat holding a 6.5 percent lead some two-and-a-half weeks before the election.
Al Cardenas, current chairman for the American Conservative Union and the former Republican Party of Florida chair, said he's been here before — specifically in 2004, when Republican Mel Martinez trailed Democrat Betty Castor just weeks before that year's election.
Cardenas said he remembers talking to Martinez the day before the election, when he was down in most polls by at least 2 percentage points.
But President George W. Bush's stronger than expected performance in the Sunshine State is "what carried Mel to a win," Cardenas told CL on Thursday afternoon.
"If it's within three points, I think Connie could win ... he still needs to get a point or two closer, but I think based on outside support, he could do it," Cardenas maintained.
Mack is relying on Romney's coattails, saying a Romney victory in Florida would bring enough voters to get him over the top against Nelson.
Cardenas said he's never seen Republican voters as united as they are now, wanting to vote for "change" — a common key word in presidential elections.
"If this election is within a point or two, we win, because the intensity is going to be so significant," he said.
On Saturday, a SurveyUSA poll showed the race in Florida between Obama and Romney to be a statistical tie.
Cardenas said if Mitt Romney wins the election — and he thinks he will — the debate in Denver on Oct. 3 will have been the decisive factor.
"Historians will look at that first debate the way that they look at that first Nixon-Kennedy debate, as being transformative of the outcome, no doubt about that," Cardenas said.