Connie Mack Makes His U.S. Senate Run Official

Although one of Republican Rep. Connie Mack's advisers announced that the congressman was running for U.S. senator in 2012 more than a month ago, it's not official until there's a Fox News appearance involved.

Mack appeared on Sean Hannity's show to make his formal announcement, spending most of his time on the show likening Sen. Bill Nelson to President Obama.

"I'm here tonight, Sean, with you, to tell you that I'm going to run for the United States Senate, because, frankly, I think the people of Florida have had enough," he said. "They've had enough of every time they turn around, Sen. Nelson is supporting and helping Barack Obama with Barack Obama's agenda of more government."

Quinnipiac University pollster Peter A. Brown said Mack's entrance was the first sign that Nelson would have to actually fight to keep his seat.

"The fact that Mack is essentially tied with Nelson, who has been a statewide political figure for two decades, should set off warning bells at Democratic headquarters," he said when the university ran a poll of the state's Republican voters earlier in the month.

In the first poll with Mack as an option, he was picked by 32 percent of the Republican voters surveyed in a Quinnipiac University poll, behind the 45 percent for "someone else/not sure" -- the consistent leader for the GOP nomination -- but well above the next human, with George LeMieux at 9 percent.

Before Mack threw his hat in the ring, Republican voters didn't really know who the hell these guys were.

In late September, another polling company asked GOP voters whether they approved of LeMieux, Adam Hasner, Mike McCalister, and Craig Miller.

"Not sure" was the majority answer on all four ranging from 71 percent for LeMieux and 89 percent for Miller.

Watch the video of Mack's official annoucement below, along with his thoughts on his "penny plan," as well as about Sen. Nelson:

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley