Florida Republican voters can stay home next year because the nominee for U.S. Senate has already been decided, according to Quinnipiac University.
In fact, the Q's assistant director, Peter Brown, suggests that Congressman Connie Mack has such a formidable lead over his rivals - Adam Hasner, George LeMieux and Mike McCalister - that they should quit now.
“Although 45 percent of GOP voters, including 59 percent of GOP women, say they are undecided, Mack becomes the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination,” Brown said. “Mack’s candidacy may force the other GOP contenders to reconsider whether they want to stay in the race.”
That tidbit comes from the Quinnipiac press release about the survey results.
There is no question that the poll suggests that 30 seconds after Mack entered the race he jumped into a huge lead. The survey of 513 registered Republicans (margin of error 4.3), shows 32 percent would vote for Mack if the election were held today. LeMieux was at 9 percent, McCalister, 6 percent and Hasner, 2 percent.
Yes, this is good news for Mack. Clearly his name recognition - even if some of those voters only know his father, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack - is a big help. Mack can now go to potential donors and tell them it's time to get on board.
And the poll results are particularly dismal for Hasner who falls behind the unimpressive campaign of McCalister. As for LeMieux, if the poll is right, the former U.S. Senator continues to have a tough time convincing Florida Republicans that he deserves to go back to Washington.
But is Brown right to draw the conclusion that Mack is so strong the other candidates should consider quitting?
Brown's comments about Quinnipiac polls have increasingly had little to do with political reality. He tends to offer opinions that seem out character for what should be an analytical look at the polling results
For example, in this poll, the Q once again looks at Florida Gov. Rick Scott's job approval (36 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove) .
Brown describes those numbers with "Scott’s job approval remains in the toilet."
Hardly an academic approach.
The poll suggests that Mack (40 percent) and Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson (42 percent) are in a dead heat.
Brown concludes: “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.”
Perhaps, but Brown jumps to a conclusion that a single poll, a year before the election, does not necessarily support.
Finally, Brown gives us this tidbit:
“In a race as close as the Nelson-Mack affair could become, how President Barack Obama does in the Sunshine State in his re-election could play a major role in deciding who wins the Senate seat,” said Brown.
While Crowley Political Report is delighted to have Brown's opinion, it must be noted that there is nothing in the Q-poll that asks anything about Obama or his impact on the Florida U.S. Senate race in 2012.
The Quinnipiac Poll can be a useful look at a moment-in-time in the campaign when it sticks to the polls results. The meaningless commentary, however, casts doubts on the university's ability to understand its own data.