UPDATE: This was posted on December 1st. Then, on December 2nd Senator Martinez announced he will not run for re-election. I am leaving the post as written, but want to acknowledge that he is not running for re-election. This update is why this post is closed to additional comments.
It doesn’t matter who the Democratic nominee is, although The Hill seems to think Florida CFO Alex Sink will be the one. I’m not so sure, as I think State Senator Dan Gelber would make a good candidate — allowing Alex to stay CFO for four more years before being an almost shoo-in for Governor in 2014.
Okay, back to the main point here: Why do I think Mel could lose?
Consider he is not the darling of Florida conservatives. He is a former trial lawyer who backed carried President George Bush’s immigration reform legislation — a bill conservatives labeld “amnesty.” Much like Senator John McCain, he just doesn’t light the fire of the far right base of the GOP.
Now, consider Governor Charlie Crist will be carrying the Republican banner. A popular governor who has shown a moderate streak with major initiatives for restoring civil rights to convicted felons and working on climate change. His “red” is looking a little too purple for many conservatives.
To me, and this is WAY early — heck, Martinez has not even announced that he will even run! But to me, the bigger issue will be conservatives sitting at home in 2010. It happened this year, and could easily happen again.
A lot can change in the next 22+ months… but I would say this race has to be leaning away from Mel at the start.