Here’s an interesting survey conducted by the St. Pete Times:
The Times reached out to people who they deemed to be “dozens of smart Florida politicos…the savviest political minds in the state – professional strategists, fundraisers, lobbyists, and grass roots activists” and questioned them about the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Florida. The respondents’ names are listed in the article, but their responses are reported anonymously. Looking over the list, it does include a solid cross-section of known liberals, moderates, and conservatives from all over the state.
More than half of the 79 respondents said Adam Hasner was the most conservative candidate in the race, and 35 predicted that Hasner would win the GOP primary. Most also believe that Bill Nelson is likely to win re-election.
Nelson being tough to beat is a given. A long-time Democrat incumbent who’s already raised millions of dollars and has the direct backing of the White House will definitely be a tough foe. But we’re over a year away from the election, and a lot can happen in that time. Nelson’s road to re-election will be a lot rockier if Obama’s approval ratings continue to tank.
What really intrigues me about these results, however, is these are experienced politicos who know all the candidates, know the Floridian political landscape very well, and when questioned anonymously (i.e., they can answer freely without fear of reprisals from employers, co-workers, clients, etc.), they say that (1) Adam Hasner is the most conservative candidate, and (2) the most likely to win the primary. The results also show that neither Haridopolos nor LeMieux are viewed as very conservative, so that leaves Adam Hasner as the only actual conservative with a chance of beating Nelson.
I agree with my fellow conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain: “it’s important to unite conservatives behind one candidate,” and Adam Hasner is the best choice.
There’s a reason that conservative leaders like Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, Ken Blackwell, Hugh Hewitt, and others are with me on Team Hasner: we believe that the 2012 election is vitally important, and electing strong, principled conservative candidates is our best hope for getting our country back on track.
[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]