Florida Senator Nelson Could Face Strong 2012 Field

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2011   |   6:12PM   |   Tallahassee, FL

Senator Bill Nelson, a pro-abortion Florida, Democrat, will likely face a slew of Republican candidates as he prepares to run for re-election in 2012. Nelson has a 0 percent pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, who is pro-life, and pro-life U.S. Rep. Connie Mack are some of the candidates with statewide name recognition Nelson could face, but Adam Hasner, the pro-life 41-year-old former state House Majority Leader, is a wild car. He is someone Florida Republicans are talking about as a potential challenger who could, like Marco Rubio, pick up significant grassroots support that propels him to victory.

“I think he’ll be a fabulous candidate,” said Mel Sembler of St. Petersburg, former ambassador and finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. “I’ve followed his career and have a lot of respect for him. He’s got a lot of friends and will have a lot of support.”

As the St. Petersburg Times reports, “Hasner says only that he’s seriously looking at running for the 2012 GOP nomination and has heard lots of encouragement.

Hasner went after Charlie Crist when the former governor vetoed a bill to help women see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion:

“This is just another example of Charlie Crist saying something publicly one day and then doing the opposite the next,” said House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton. “Charlie Crist is becoming easy to predict: disregarding principle, previous statements or public assurances, he will switch his positions to whatever he thinks will get him the most votes. He just can’t be trusted.”

A December automated poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that former Gov. Jeb Bush is the only Republican who would defeat Nelson in 2012. Such early polls mainly reflect name recognition, and between Mack, LeMieux and Hasner, Mack fared best against Nelson, trailing 36 percent to 44 percent (LeMieux trailed by 11, Haridopolos by 12, and Hasner by 16).