Monday, March 27, 2006

Florida Senate: Is $10 Million Enough?

By Nathan L. Gonzales

With Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) pledging to sell the farm and put $10 million of her own money into the Florida Senate race, it's fair to reevaluate her chances of knocking off Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

From the beginning, Republican insiders believed that Harris was simply unelectable statewide. The polarizing nature of the 2000 presidential election and her reputation has made her unacceptable to most independent voters. Ten million dollars is not going to change that.

Also keep in mind that $10 million sounds like a lot of money, but Sen. Nelson was sitting on $8 million through the end of 2005. If Harris actually spends what she says she will spend, Sen. Nelson may have to work harder than he had initially planned. But he is well-positioned and well-financed for his reelection effort.

Quite simply, the fundamentals of this race have not changed and the race remains a clear Democratic advantage. Race-watchers will need hard evidence that independent voters, who have been expressing their dislike of Harris to pollsters, are changing their opinion.

This item first appeared on Politive Wire on March 23, 2006.