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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Rick Scott Continues to Lead Bill McCollum in Florida

The gubernatorial race in Florida continues to surprise me. Bill McCollum, the unquestionably conservative Attorney General and former congressman who played a part in Bill Clinton’s impeachment, is losing to a novice politician and former hospital CEO.

With just three weeks until Election Day, and early voting beginning next week, Scott is beating McCollum in every demographic and geographic category of likely GOP voters, said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service of Harrisburg, Pa., which conducted the survey.”Most startlingly is the 50 percent negative number for McCollum. That’s a very huge red flag and suggests very little room to grow. You never want to have that going into an election,” Lee said.The VSS survey, commissioned by Sunshine State News and conducted July 26-30, builds on results of an earlier Quinnipiac Poll that showed Scott holding an 11-point lead over McCollum. The Sunshine State News Poll is the largest sampling of likely voters — 1,345 — of any poll so far taken for a 2010 statewide election in Florida.

The McCollum camp, should you ask them, will tell you every nasty thing possible about Rick Scott and then say Scott is in the lead because he is “buying the race.”That’s not good enough. There are fundamental problems with the McCollum campaign — he’s running a terrible campaign. I am truly shocked by it, given the man’s pedigree and tenacity.I like both men. I know Rick Scott personally. He is a tremendously likable guy and all the ladies and kids these days like the bald guys. Capt. Picard started a trend.No one has to worry about Rick Scott — whether he is a competent executive or whether he is a conservative. I know conservatives. Rick Scott is one of us. I know his business record. Despite the attacks on him, he was an extremely competent and frugal CEO.I do not know Bill McCollum personally. But I do know his record. There’s nothing in it that would suggest to me he wouldn’t be a bad governor. He would be a step up from Charlie Crist and far better than the Democrat. The primary, however, is three weeks away.If Bill McCollum cannot turn things around in three weeks — and I have never though Scott could maintain the momentum and lead like he is doing — the issue is not going to be that Rick Scott bought the race. The issue is going to be how pathetic a race Bill McCollum ran. It really is shocking.It also is an indicator of just how strong the anti-incumbent sentiment is this year. Voters, regardless of party, want non-traditional candidates.

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