Florida: Poll Shows No Clear Favorites In Race for Martinez Seat

Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:18pm

Two months after Sen. Mel Martinez (R) announced his retirement, no clear frontrunner has emerged in either party in the 2010 race to replace him, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University.

The Quinnipiac poll was in the field Jan. 14-19 and tested registered Republicans and Democrats on their preferred candidates.

Among the several names mentioned in the GOP field, state Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) was in a virtual dead heat among registered Republicans with Rep. Connie Mack IV (R), the son of the former Sunshine State Senator with the same name.

The survey of 522 Republicans showed McCollum at 22 percent and Mack at 21 percent. Rep. Vern Buchanan polled at 10 percent, former state Speaker Marco Rubio took 6 percent, and former state Speaker Allan Bense garnered 2 percent. Forty percent were undecided. The GOP survey had a 4.3-point margin of error.

Among registered Democrats, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink would have been the leading Democrat, but she removed her name from consideration on Jan. 16, while the survey was in the field.

Sink garnered 15 percent among the 422 registered Democrats queried in the poll, while Rep. Kendrick Meek (D), who announced his candidacy last week, took 13 percent. Rep. Ron Klein (D) took 9 percent, Rep. Allen Boyd polled at 8 percent, and state Sen. Dan Gelber garnered just 1 percent. The majority of Democrats, 54 percent, were undecided. The margin of error in the Democratic poll was 4.7 points.