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Rothenberg Report: Florida gov race leaning Dem

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From March on Politics: Despite recent polling showing the governor’s race between Bill McCollum and Alex Sink as either a tossup or maybe with an edge for McCollum, the respected Rothenberg Political Report has it listed as leaning Democratic—for Sink.

A new poll issued yesterday gave McCollum a 6-point lead with a large undecided.

But Nathan Gonzales, political editor for the Rothenberg Report said polls don’t tell the whole story in the race between a strong newcomer and an experienced veteran.

“There’s a strong sense among Republicans that McCollum can’t win a general election, particularly against a strong candidate like Alex Sink,” he said.

“In polls he’s going to have a good showing because he’s been elected statewide and known for years, but there’s a sense that where he is now is his ceiling and his only movement will be downward. He’s such a known commodity there isn’t a lot of room for him to grow.”

The biggest concern about Sink, he noted, is that, “This will be a very different race than she’s had before, much higher profile. But the Democrats have a great opportunity here.”

The report would have made Republicans a heavy favorite to hold the seat if Gov. Charlie Crist had run for re-election instead of jumping into the Senate race, Gonzales noted.

But with Crist in the Senate race, he said, the Rothenberg analysis gives the Republicans only “a narrow advantage” for the Senate—meaning Crist isn’t as strong in that race as he would have been for governor.

Why? “He’s not an incumbent, there’s going to be different issues, and he’s going to have a primary,” Gonzales said.

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.

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