Pinellas GOP hosting straw poll tonight — just don’t expect Connie Mack to show

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The Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee tonight will host a straw poll for the US Senate primary — just don’t expect Connie Mack to show up to participate.

The last time the Pinellas GOP held a straw poll in a US Senate primary, in early 2010, the results — Marco Rubio beating hometown favorite Charlie Crist — changed the course of the election.

Tonight’s straw ballot results will likely reinforce the narrative that Mack is a weak front-runner who, seeing no advantage in directly competing against his primary opponents, has recently ducked a series of high-profile events.

This past weekend, Mack blew off a straw poll of the Florida Young Republicans. George LeMieux handily won the nonbinding poll, taking 70% of the vote, while Mack received 19% support.

In addition to the straw polls he is avoiding, Mack has declined an invitation to participate in a July 26 televised debate hosted by the Tampa Bay Times.

Asked why Mack would not be participating in bellwether Pinellas County, Mack spokesman David James, whose quotes seemingly never help his boss, said, “We are focused on running our campaign against liberal Bill Nelson and have other commitments in southeast Florida and therefore not participating in their event. Any such straw poll therefore should not even include Mack’s name.”


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.