Incumbent Party – Democrat
Projection – Toss Up
|Primary Date||August 14, 2012|
|General Date||November 06, 2012|
|Incumbent Status||Seeking Re-election|
- Connie Mack
- Mike Haridopolos
- George LeMieux
- Mike McCalister
- Adam Hasner
- William Fisher
- Craig Miller
- Deon Long
- Dan Stojadinovic
- Marielena Stuart
- Dave Weldon
With no shortage of Republican candidates willing to compete against Bill Nelson, this race could be one of th most hotly contested in the nation and the truth is that Republicans are lucky it is close because out of al the competitive swing states, Nelson is probably the best positioned incumbent senate Democrat running for reelection of them all. But he still quite vulnerable, particularly when it comes to the mood of the nation and how many Floridians share that mood. That means if President Obama fails to run strong among Independents and those groups that supported him in large numbers in 2008, than Nelson is in trouble.
As it is, a June poll had Nelson’s job approval rating among Floridians at 39% and while that was 8% higher than the number of voters who disapproved of his job performance, that approval rating is too low to suggest that Nelson will have an easy time at getting reelected. But as the election progresses, those numbers will certainly pick up. However as they do pick up, his Republican opponent will be chipping away at those numbers in what will surely be a well funded, targeted race by Republicans.
But no matter what, Nelson will remain a strong candidate. Even if Romney’s place at the top of the ticket helps the G.O.P. senate nominee, Bill Nelson will run a strong campaign. That is in part due to Nelson’s deep support from Florida’s large senior citizen community, who may vote against Obama by casting their ballot for Romney on the Republican line, but will be more than willing to go back to Democrat column and vote for Nelson further down that line.
Right now, odds are that Congressman Connie Mack, the son of former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, will win the Republican senate nomination and if he does, there is no reason to believe that he will not be able to put together a winning campaign. In the end, this race will probably come down to whether President Obama can win the state, and if he can’t the question will become can Bill Nelson distance himself far enough away from the President for voters to not deem him guilty by association?