A competitive senate race in Florida?

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It’s very interesting how the national media is attempting to set the table for Florida’s US Senate race. It’s almost as if Republicans and Democrats are running for two completely different seats.

On one hand, there is the conservatives’ argument, as articulated by the Washington Examiner:

The chances for a competitive race improve with this week’s fundraising numbers from one of the three announced Republican challengers. Mike Haridopolos, the Florida state Senate’s current president raised a rather surprisingly good $2.6 million in the first quarter of the year. Haridopolos, who represents a district in the Treasure Coast region, now boasts a campaign warchest of $2.5 million on hand — at least half as large as the one the incumbent is expected to unveil (between $4.5 million and $5 million) in the coming week.

But on the other hand, Public Policy Polling argues that winning Florida’s US Senate seat may be one of the two biggest teases for the GOP in 2012:

…when you look at the approval numbers it seems like (he) should be beatable but (his) topline approvals make (him) look a lot more vulnerable than (he) actually is…(his) disapproval number might be what’s most instructive – only 34% of voters disapprove of Nelson- for an incumbent to be defeated you usually have to have ticked off more people than that.

So which is it? As David Freddoso suggests, early polling suggests thatthe race is Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s to lose. But early polls are not necessarily good ones. Otherwise, Sen. Charlie Crist would be giving proud speeches on the Senate floor instead of makingembarrassing YouTube videos about his copyright transgressions.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.