Launching his campaign by deriding rival Bill Nelson as one of President Obama’s “lockstep liberals,” Republican U.S. Senate contender Connie Mack is expecting to be picketed by what his office staff called ”loony liberals” Thursday.
Mack’s namesake father punctured Democratic opponent Buddy Mackay 23 years ago with the phrase, “Hey Buddy, you’re liberal.” The son’s days-old campaign seems to be sticking to a similar script.
Southwest Florida supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement plan to protest at 1 p.m. today outside Mack’s Cape Coral office. But once Mack staffers got hold of the rally’s electronic sign-up sheet, they fired out a press release, tying the demonstration to MoveOn.org, the left-leaning activist group founded by billionaire George Soros.
“It’s appalling that George Soros and the loony liberals of MoveOn.org are protecting Bill Nelson by staging a sit-in protest at Congressman Mack’s office,” said David James, Mack’s deputy campaign manager. ”Three days after Connie Mack entered the race for U.S. Senate, these leftists are scared of the Mack candidacy and Connie’s message of freedom, security and prosperity. Florida has had enough of the loony left and will bring an end to their big government, big taxation and big spending agenda next November.”
Polls show Mack is the frontrunner in five-person Republican field. At least one survey also shows him with enough current support to knock off Nelson, if Mack wins the GOP primary.
A new Public Policy Polling survey also shows Mack well out front in the Republican contest. It also examines the potency of name identification, but doesn’t attribute all of Mack’s success to having a well-known monicker.
The poll found Mack’s name is recognized by 57 percent of Republican voters in Florida, about double his nearest rival, short-term Senate-appointee George LeMieux. Others in the race were far back.
But the survey also found that voters familiar with the other candidates, still liked Mack best.
“Name recognition is certainly an important part of the equation, but even when you account for that Mack’s well ahead,” PPP concluded. “And he has strong numbers across the ideological lines of the GOP, getting 44 percent with ‘very conservative’ voters, 43 percent with ’somewhat conservative’ ones, and 32 percent with moderates.”