Thursday, August 31, 2006

FL-Sen: Republicans Heart Katherine Harris

The cry from Republican voters in Florida:

    Who do we want?

    Katherine Harris!

    When do we want her?

Yes, Rep. Harris' trainwreck of a senate campaign, while a source of horror and shame for the GOP establishment, is exactly what curls the toes of Florida's Republican primary voters.

The latest poll shows Harris with a double-digit lead over her nearest primary opponent.

"If Rep. Harris had only one opponent she might be in deep trouble," said Peter Brown, assistant polling director for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which conducted the poll last week. "But having three candidates splitting the anti-Harris vote is a major plus for her."

Harris was favored by 38 percent of 317 likely Republican voters.

William McBride, a 34-year-old attorney, was supported by 22 percent; retired Navy admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. of Tampa was backed by 11 percent; and Peter Monroe, a real estate developer from Safety Harbor, received 3 percent.
That, for Harris, at least, is the good news.

For the GOP, this is the bad news:

Recent polls have shown [Democratic incumbent Bill] Nelson more than 30 points ahead of Harris in a general election matchup, and her campaign has been rocky. Fundraising has lagged, campaign workers have defected and she has been dogged by news of dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
I'd call this one a safe seat.