Florida Republicans Want Jeb Bush to Challenge Nelson

December 29, 2010

By Christina Bellantoni, Roll Call

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the strong favorite among Republican voters to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in 2012, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows.

Tom Jensen, director of the Democratic-leaning polling firm, said the findings — 72 percent of GOP voters chose Bush as their preferred candidate — differ from other state surveys in which voters have “no clue” whom they want to challenge the Democratic incumbent.

“With Bush in the equation none of the other options given get any higher than 6% — that’s for perennial candidate Bill McCollum — and once you get past McCollum no one else even tops 3%,” Jensen wrote on the PPP blog.

Bush, President George W. Bush’s brother, won over both conservatives and moderate Republicans in the poll of 400 GOP primary voters taken Dec. 17-20.

If Bush was not a choice, Florida Republican voters liked the following candidates:

Rep. Connie Mack IV, 15 percent;
McCollum, 14 percent;
outgoing appointed Sen. George LeMieux, 11 percent;
state Lt. Gov.-elect Jennifer Carroll, 10 percent;
state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, 9 percent;
Rep. Vern Buchanan, 7 percent;
and state Rep. Adam Hasner, 3 percent.

Jensen added in his blog post that LeMieux has shown “continued incredible weakness … in pretty much all polling” even though he is one of the likeliest candidates.

To read more, visit: http://www.rollcall.com/news/-201952-1.html?ET=rollcall:e9548:80104117a:&st=email&pos=epol

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