November 11, 2011 - Mack Attack Sweeps Florida GOP Senate Pack, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Rubio Untouched By Family History Challenge

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By tossing his hat into the ring, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack has transformed the campaign for Florida's U.S. Senate seat, putting him far ahead of the field for the Republican nomination and in a statistical dead heat in the general election, with 40 percent to incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson's 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Mack, son of the former U.S. senator who bears his same name, gets 32 percent of the vote in the GOP primary, while none of the other four mostly unknown aspirants get more than 9 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.

Questions regarding U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's comments about when his family emigrated from Cuba have had almost no effect on his job approval rating. He receives a 49 - 29 percent score, no change from the 49 - 31 percent thumbs up September 21.

Gov. Rick Scott's job approval remains in the toilet: 36 percent approve of his job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. Among independent voters, the key to carrying Florida, Scott has a 56 - 29 percent disapproval rating. Scott gets a 67 - 22 percent thumbs up among Republicans, but a 73 - 14 percent thumbs down from Democrats. He does okay with men, who split 43 - 46 percent, but woman say no way 55 - 30 percent.

"The entrance of Congressman Connie Mack into the Senate race changes what had been shaping up as an easy reelection for Sen. Bill Nelson into a tough fight that the incumbent could lose," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The fact that Mack is essentially tied with Nelson, who has been a statewide political figure for two decades, should set off warning bells at Democratic headquarters."

Also-rans in the GOP primary are former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux with 9 percent, former army officer Mike McCalister at 6 percent and 2 percent each for businessman Craig Miller and former state House GOP leader Adam Hasner.

"Although 45 percent of GOP voters, including 59 percent of GOP women, say they are undecided, Mack becomes the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination," Brown said. "Mack's candidacy may force the other GOP contenders to reconsider whether they want to stay in the race."

Although Nelson has a positive 47 - 27 percent job approval rating, the entrance of Mack into the race makes his seat very competitive. Independent voters approve of Nelson 47 - 26 percent, but back him 42 - 34 percent in a 2012 matchup with Mack. Both candidates carry their party bases similarly; Nelson wins Democrats 78 - 8 percent, as Mack takes Republicans 79 - 8 percent.

In a Nelson-Mack race, the incumbent carries women 45 - 34 percent, but loses men 47 - 38 percent. Nelson loses whites who call themselves evangelical Christians 61 - 28 percent and loses among all whites 46 - 39 percent.

"In a race as close as the Nelson-Mack affair could become, how President Barack Obama does in the Sunshine State in his re-election could play a major role in deciding who wins the Senate seat," said Brown.

From October 31 - November 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,185 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 513 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2a. (If Registered Republican) If the 2012 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Connie Mack, Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Craig Miller and Mike McCalister for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS.........................
                                                        WHITE.......
                                          TEA PARTY     BrnAgnEvangl
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Yes    No     Yes    No
 
Mack                 32%    40%    23%    30%    32%    36%    32%
Hasner                2      3      1      4      1      -      2
LeMieux               9     12      6     14      7     11      8
Miller                2      2      1      1      2      1      2
McCalister            6      8      4     14      3      5      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2      2      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      4      1      4      3      4
DK/NA                45     31     59     34     49     44     43
 
TREND: (If registered Republican)If the 2012 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Connie Mack, Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Craig Miller and Mike McCalister for whom would you vote? (na=not asked)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS........
                     Nov 11  Sep 22  Aug 04  May 26
                     2011    2011    2011    2011
                             
Mack                 32      na      na      na
Hasner                2       5       6       4
LeMieux               9      17      12      14
Miller                2       5       8      na
McCalister            6      11      15      na
Haridopolos          na      na      na      13
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       3       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4       3       4       4
DK/NA                45      58      53      64
 
 
11a. If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Bill Nelson the Democrat and Connie Mack the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Nelson               42%     8%    78%    42%    38%    45%    39%    64%    35%
Mack                 40     79      8     34     47     34     46     12     41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -      -      1      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      3      1      1      2      -      1
DK/NA                16     11     14     21     14     18     13     24     24
 
                                   WHITE....................
                     TEA PARTY     BrnAgnEvangl  COLLEGE DEG   AGE IN YEARS.....
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Yes    No     18-34  35-54  55+
 
Nelson               14%    47%    28%    44%    42%    38%    31%    43%    46%
Mack                 79     34     61     39     42     47     34     44     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      2      2      3      1      2      1      1
DK/NA                 7     17      9     15     13     13     31     11     12
 
 
19a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              49%    78%    27%    44%    51%    47%    53%    27%    52%
Disapprove           29      8     46     33     30     28     27     48     23
DK/NA                22     14     26     23     19     24     20     25     25
 
                                   WHITE....................
                     TEA PARTY     BrnAgnEvangl  COLLEGE DEG   AGE IN YEARS.....
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Yes    No     18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              83%    44%    68%    46%    52%    54%    39%    54%    52%
Disapprove           11     33     16     32     32     24     25     26     32
DK/NA                 6     23     17     22     17     22     36     20     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                     DEBT DEAL.....
                                     Post    Pre
                     Nov 11  Sep 21  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Apr 07  Feb 03
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
                             
Approve              49      49      49      45      49      47      42
Disapprove           29      31      36      35      26      23      20
DK/NA                22      20      15      20      24      30      37
 
 
19b. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              47%    35%    61%    47%    45%    49%    48%    52%    40%
Disapprove           27     42     14     26     35     21     29     24     26
DK/NA                26     24     25     26     20     31     24     24     34
 
                                   WHITE....................
                     TEA PARTY     BrnAgnEvangl  COLLEGE DEG   AGE IN YEARS.....
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Yes    No     18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              35%    49%    40%    51%    48%    47%    39%    48%    50%
Disapprove           54     24     39     24     29     28     20     30     29
DK/NA                10     27     21     25     23     24     41     22     21
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator? (*Low also 42% Aug 2004)
                                     DEBT DEAL.....          APPROVE.......
                                     Post    Pre             High    Low
                     Nov 11  Sep 22  Aug 04  Aug 04  May 26  Feb 06  Aug 04
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2007    2011*
                             
Approve              47      45      42      45      51      54      42
Disapprove           27      32      35      33      24      18      35
DK/NA                26      23      23      22      25      28      23
 

Demographic Summary