Quinniapac Picks the Next U.S. Senator, Governor for Florida

McCollum (left) and Crist are the frontrunners.

The Quinniapac University Bobcats cannot wait for us Floridians to pick our own U.S. Senator in 2010. Besides, Florida will probably have its votes stripped by Howard Dean again, anyway. So Quinniapac staged the election for us and... hello, U.S. Senator Bill McCollum?

Among possible contenders, Florida's current Attorney General, a Republican, scored the highest percentage of favorable opinions. That list included Democratic former front runner Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer who announced late last week that she would not seek the office.

Connie Mack IV scored high in the poll, thanks in large part to his granddaddy and his great granddaddy. Fellow Republicans Marco Rubio (the former speaker of the Florida House) and U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan have lots of ground to make up. The poll names U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek as the Democratic frontrunner in Sink's absence. He's followed by Fort Lauderdale U.S. Rep. Ron Klein and Panama City Bluedog Congressman Allen Boyd. Of those, only Meek has formally announced he was running.

The poll came out shortly after State Sen. Dan Gelber reacted to Sink's by virtually declaring his candidacy for U.S. Senate, via blog. He must have been disappointed to only score one percent. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for politics-weary Floridians, there's still 21 months left in this campaign, and lots can change, especially with such parity in the Democratic field.

Of course, the poll also found that Charlie Crist will be our governor forever, unless he decides to run for Senate, in which case he'll win that. Another possibility: Crist will run for president, in which case he'll lose that.

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Thomas Francis