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2012 United States Senate election in Florida

The 2012 United States Senate election in Florida was held on November 6, 2012, alongside a presidential election, other elections to the United States Congress, as well as various state and local elections. The primary election was held August 14, 2012. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson won reelection to a third term, defeating Republican U.S. Representative Connie Mack IV (whose father, Connie Mack III was Nelson's direct predecessor in that Senate seat) by 13%, winning 55% to 42%. Nelson defeated Mack by over 1 million votes. Until Donald Trump won 4.6 million votes in the 2016 presidential election and Marco Rubio won 4.8 million votes in the 2016 Senate election, Nelson recorded the most votes in Florida history.

2012 United States Senate election in Florida

← 2006 November 6, 2012 2018 →
Turnout63.5% (voting eligible)[1]
  Bill Nelson.jpg Connie Mack official photo (cropped).jpg
Nominee Bill Nelson Connie Mack IV
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 4,523,451 3,458,267
Percentage 55.2% 42.2%

Florida Senate Election Results by county, 2012.svg
County results
Nelson:      40-50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Mack:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. Senator before election

Bill Nelson
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Bill Nelson[2]
Democratic

Democratic primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

ResultsEdit

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bill Nelson (incumbent) 684,804 78.7
Democratic Glenn Burkett 184,815 21.3
Total votes 869,619 100

Republican primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

QualifiedEdit

WithdrewEdit

DeclinedEdit

PollingEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
George
LeMieux
Connie
Mack IV
Mike
McCalister
Dave
Weldon
Someone
else
Other/
Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 31 – June 3, 2012 448 ±4.6% 13% 34% 10% 6% 9% 28%
Quinnipiac June 12–18, 2012 698 ±3.7% 8% 41% 5% 3% 1% 39%
Public Policy Polling July 26–29, 2012 500 ±4.4% 47% 10% 14% 6% 23%

EndorsementsEdit

George LeMieux
Connie Mack IV

ResultsEdit

Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Connie Mack IV 657,331 58.7
Republican Dave Weldon 226,083 20.2
Republican Mike McCalister 155,421 13.9
Republican Marielena Stuart 81,808 7.3
Total votes 1,120,643 100

General electionEdit

From a long way out, Nelson appeared to be vulnerable, with some earlier polls showing Mack leading. However, in the last few weeks with new polls conducted, it appeared as though Nelson was headed for a victory. The last poll placed him five percentage points ahead of Mack; Nelson would win easily by 13 percentage points. Nelson performed well in Southeast Florida (the Miami area), Tampa, Gainesville, typically Democratic areas. Nelson however managed to win in areas that typically lean Republican. For example, Nelson won in Duval County home of Jacksonville, and Volusia County home of Daytona Beach. Nelson's ability to outperform President Obama led to him winning the election easily. Obama would still win Florida, but by just about 74,000 votes, and less than a percentage point. Nelson began his third term in the Senate on January 3, 2013.

CandidatesEdit

DebatesEdit

Only one debate was held, hosted by Leadership Florida/Florida Press Association occurred on October 17 at the Nova Southeastern University campus in Davie.

FundraisingEdit

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Bill Nelson (D) $13,404,998 $15,494,167 $994,324 $0
Connie Mack (R) $7,272,224 $7,526,150 $155,076 $81,880
Chris Borgia (I) $12,344 $12,198 $145 $9,950
Bill Gaylor (I) $19,604 $19,195 $0 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[44][45][46][47]

Top contributorsEdit

Bill Nelson Contribution Connie Mack Contribution Bill Gaylor Contribution
Morgan & Morgan $138,150 Club for Growth $189,168 Bill & Sheila Gaylor Insurance Professionals $7,905
Finmeccanica S.p.A. $71,967 Elliott Management Corporation $46,997 Circle Redmont $1,432
InDyne, Inc. $64,735 Koch Industries $33,500
Harris Corporation $59,750 Vestar Capital Partners $32,000
Akerman Senterfitt LLP $59,300 Island Doctors $27,400
Greenberg Traurig $52,589 Adams & Diaco $25,000
Kindred Healthcare $21,000 Health Management Associates $21,000
Holland & Knight $46,747 Flo-Sun Inc $18,500
Leon Medical Centers $45,800 US Sugar Corporation $18,000
Vestar Capital Partners $40,650 MasTec, Inc. $17,800
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[48]

Top industriesEdit

Bill Nelson Contribution Connie Mack Contribution Bill Gaylor Contribution
Lawyers/Law firms $2,383,484 Retired $885,121 Retired $1,500
Retired $938,280 Republican/Conservative $412,944
Real Estate $606,253 Financial Institutions $360,334
Health Professionals $529,282 Real Estate $298,642
Lobbyists $493,087 Leadership PACs $280,500
Financial Institutions $418,915 Misc Finance $216,836
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $364,617 Health Professionals $199,159
Leadership PACs $337,000 Lawyers/Law Firms $169,921
Insurance Industry $319,788 Petroleum Industry $136,400
Health Services/HMOs $276,500 Business Services $128,777
Source: Center for Responsive Politics[49]

Independent expendituresEdit

In early October 2012, Crossroads GPS announced it would launch a $16 million advertising buy in national races, of which four were this and three other Senate elections.[50] In Florida, the money was to be spent by its affiliate, American Crossroads.[50]

PredictionsEdit

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[51] Lean D November 1, 2012
Sabato's Crystal Ball[52] Likely D November 5, 2012
Rothenberg Political Report[53] Likely D November 2, 2012
Real Clear Politics[54] Lean D November 5, 2012

PollingEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Bill
Nelson (D)
Connie
Mack IV (R)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling October 9–10, 2010 448 ±4.6% 42% 33% 25%
Public Policy Polling December 17–20, 2010 1,034 ±3.0% 44% 36% 20%
Mason-Dixon February 9–10, 2011 625 ±4.0% 45% 40% 15%
Public Policy Polling March 24–27, 2011 500 ±4.4% 47% 34% 18%
Quinnipiac October 31 – November 7, 2011 1,185 ±2.9% 42% 40% 1% 16%
Rasmussen Reports November 17, 2011 500 ±4.5% 39% 43% 5% 13%
Public Policy Polling November 28 – December 1, 2011 700 ±3.7% 46% 35% 19%
Quinnipiac January 4–8, 2012 1,412 ±2.6% 41% 40% 1% 16%
Suffolk University January 22–24, 2012 600 ±4.4% 42% 32% 1% 25%
Mason-Dixon[permanent dead link] January 24–26, 2012 800 ±3.5% 45% 42% 13%
Rasmussen Reports February 13, 2012 500 ±4.5% 41% 41% 5% 12%
Rasmussen Reports March 13, 2012 500 ±4.5% 36% 43% 5% 16%
Quinnipiac March 20–26, 2012 1,228 ±2.8% 44% 36% 3% 17%
Public Policy Polling April 12–15, 2012 700 ±3.7% 47% 37% 17%
Rasmussen Reports April 25, 2012 500 ±4.5% 47% 36% 10% 7%
Quinnipiac May 15–21, 2012 1,722 ±2.4% 41% 42% 3% 15%
Marist May 17–20, 2012 1,078 ±3.0% 46% 42% 12%
Public Policy Polling May 31 – June 3, 2012 642 ±3.9% 49% 36% 15%
Quinnipiac June 12–18, 2012 1,697 ±2.4% 43% 39% 15%
Quinnipiac June 19–25, 2012 1,200 ±2.8% 41% 40% 1% 17%
Rasmussen Reports July 9, 2012 500 ±4.5% 37% 46% 7% 10%
Mason-Dixon July 9–11, 2012 800 ±3.5% 47% 42% 11%
Survey USA July 17–19, 2012 647 ±3.9% 42% 48% 2% 8%
Public Policy Polling July 26–29, 2012 871 ±3.3% 45% 43% 13%
Quinnipiac July 24–30, 2012 1,177 ±2.9% 47% 40% 1% 12%
Rasmussen Reports August 15, 2012 500 ±4.5% 47% 40% 3% 10%
Quinnipiac August 15–21, 2012 1,241 ±2.8% 50% 41% 9%
Public Policy Polling August 31 – September 2, 2012 1,548 ±2.5% 45% 38% 17%
SurveyUSA September 7–9, 2012 596 ±4.1% 47% 36% 3% 9%
NBC/WSJ/Marist Poll September 9–11, 2012 980 ±3.1% 51% 37% 12%
Rasmussen Reports September 12, 2012 500 ±4.5% 47% 40% 5% 8%
Fox News Poll September 16–18, 2012 829 ±3.0% 49% 35% 2% 12%
TBT/Miami Herald September 17–19, 2012 800 ±3.5% 48% 40% 11%
Suffolk University September 27–30, 2012 600 ±4.0% 40% 34% 5% 20%
NBC/WSJ/Marist Poll September 30 – October 1, 2012 890 ±3.3% 52% 41% 7%
Rasmussen Reports October 4, 2012 500 ±4.5% 52% 41% 1% 6%
University of North Florida October 1–9, 2012 800 ±3.5% 50% 40% 10%
NBC/WSJ/Marist Poll October 7–9, 2012 988 ±3.1% 52% 39% 9%
TBT/Miami Herald October 8–10, 2012 800 ±3.5% 47% 42% 4% 7%
Rasmussen Reports October 11, 2012 750 ±4.0% 46% 45% 5% 5%
Public Policy Polling October 12–14, 2012 791 ±3.4% 45% 37% 18%
SurveyUSA October 17–18, 2012 600 ±4.1% 48% 40% 4% 8%
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers/WPTV October 17–18, 2012 800 ±4.0% 45% 41% 14%
Rasmussen Reports October 18, 2012 750 ±4.0% 48% 43% 2% 7%
Angus Reid Public Opinion October 18–20, 2012 502 ±4.5% 56% 39% 4%
Pharos Research October 19–21, 2012 759 ±3.6% 52% 44% 5%
Sunshine State News/VSS October 22–24, 2012 1,001 ±3.1% 49% 44% 7%
Mason-Dixon October 22–24, 2012 625 ±4.0% 47% 44% 9%
Rasmussen Reports October 25, 2012 750 ±4.0% 49% 46% 2% 3%
WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA October 25–27, 2012 595 ±4.1% 48% 41% 4% 7%
CBS/Quinnipiac University October 23–28, 2012 1,073 ±3.0% 52% 39% 9%
Public Policy Polling October 26–28, 2012 687 ±3.7% 50% 42% 9%
Zogby/Newsmax October 26–28, 2012 827 ±3.5% 50% 41% 9%
Zogby/Newsmax October 27–29, 2012 828 ±3.5% 50% 41% 9%
Gravis Marketing October 30, 2012 549 ±4.2% 49% 46% 5%
Reuters/Ipsos October 29–31, 2012 716 ±4.2% 52% 42% 1% 6%
NBC/WSJ/Marist October 30 – November 1, 2012 1,545 ±2.5% 52% 43% 1% 5%
Mason-Dixon October 30 – November 1, 2012 800 ±3.5% 49% 43% 4%
Angus Reid Public Opinion November 1–3, 2012 525 ±4.3% 53% 45% 2%
Public Policy Polling November 3–4, 2012 955 ±3.2% 51% 46% 3%

ResultsEdit

United States Senate election in Florida, 2012[55]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bill Nelson (incumbent) 4,523,451 55.23% -5.07%
Republican Connie Mack IV 3,458,267 42.23% +4.13%
Independent Bill Gaylor 126,079 1.54% N/A
Independent Chris Borgia 82,089 1.00% N/A
n/a Write-ins 60 0.0 N/A
Total votes 8,189,946 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates". George Mason University. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Siegel, Elyse (November 6, 2012). "Bill Nelson Election Results: Democrat Defeats Connie Mack In Florida Senate Race". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  3. ^ "Candidate Tracking system - Florida Division of Elections - Department of State". Election.dos.state.fl.us. Retrieved November 7, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Rep. Connie Mack IV Announces Run for U.S. Senate". Fox News. November 28, 2011.
  5. ^ Connie Mack IV Officially Joins Florida Senate Race : Roll Call Politics
  6. ^ Leary, Alex (November 23, 2010). "Sen. Bill Nelson gets his first official Republican challenger for 2012". TampaBay.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Powers, Scott (August 18, 2011). "Marielena Stuart joins U.S. Senate race". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on December 18, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Caputo, Marc (May 18, 2012). "It's official: Dave Weldon to run for U.S. Senate in Florida". The Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  9. ^ Alexander George withdraws U.S. Senate Race- Endorses Senator George LeMieux | PRLog
  10. ^ Leary, Alex (July 18, 2011). "Haridopolos drops out of U.S. Senate race". Tampabay.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Balderas, Hasner file paperwork for Senate bids – David Catanese – POLITICO.com
  12. ^ Hasner phoned Mack, not LeMieux – POLITICO.com
  13. ^ Florida: Craig Miller Drops Senate Bid, Runs for House | At the Races
  14. ^ Conservative Senate Candidate Ron Rushing Takes Aim at Politicians | Sunshine State News
  15. ^ "George LeMieux out of Senate race". CFN 13 Orlando. Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  16. ^ Smith, Adam C. (April 22, 2012). "CFO Jeff Atwater announces he will not run for U.S. Senate". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  17. ^ Hasner Nabs Former Florida Speaker’s Endorsement : Roll Call Politics
  18. ^ "Buchanan Closes Door on Senate Run – Hotline On Call". Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  19. ^ March, William (December 3, 2010). "Several Republicans may vie to take on Bill Nelson in 2012". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Looking beyond Connie Mack and U.S. Senate race – Marc Caputo – MiamiHerald.com
  21. ^ Caputo, Marc (November 17, 2011). "Citing ill-health, Sofia Vergara's bf won't run for U.S. Senate". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  22. ^ Leary, Alex (April 30, 2012). "Will McBride, a Senate candidate again, but with lower goal". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
  23. ^ Wallace, Jeremy (February 11, 2011). "Rooney not ready for U.S. Senate run". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  24. ^ Bennett, George (August 7, 2011). "NewsMax's Chris Ruddy rejects suggestion he run for GOP Senate nomination". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
  25. ^ "West: I'm Not Running For Senate – Hotline On Call". Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  26. ^ Allen West shuts door on Senate race – David Catanese – POLITICO.com
  27. ^ Amanda Carey. "Haley Barbour lends endorsement in Florida Senate primary". The Daily Caller. Retrieved November 7, 2012.[deprecated source]
  28. ^ a b c "LeMieux wins endorsements of three legislators – Central Florida Political Pulse – Orlando Sentinel". Archived from the original on December 18, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  29. ^ a b c "George LeMieux receives endorsement of three more FL lawmakers, Sen. Garcia & Reps Fred Costello and Charles Van Zant | Saint Petersblog". Archived from the original on June 3, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  30. ^ "Romney Endorses Mack For Senate « CBS Miami". Miami.cbslocal.com. May 16, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  31. ^ "Jeb Bush endorses Mack in Florida US Senate race – WFTX-TV Fort Myers/Naples, FL". Fox4now.com. Associated Press. June 6, 2012. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  32. ^ Sen. Rand Paul endorses Connie Mack in Senate race | Naked Politics
  33. ^ Derby, Kevin (June 5, 2012). "Tea party favorite Mike Lee endorses Connie Mack in Florida". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  34. ^ "Mack is endorsed by Puerto Rico's governor – Central Florida Political Pulse – Orlando Sentinel". Blogs.orlandosentinel.com. May 22, 2012. Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  35. ^ Miller, Joshua (December 12, 2011). "Jeff Miller Endorses Connie Mack IV for Senate". Roll Call. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  36. ^ Derby, Kevin (June 11, 2012). "Tom Rooney endorses Connie Mack". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  37. ^ "Pam Bondi endorses Mack: he will "protect the constitution" – Central Florida Political Pulse – Orlando Sentinel". Blogs.orlandosentinel.com. June 13, 2012. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  38. ^ The Miami Herald (June 13, 2012). "Another big endorsement for Connie Mack: FL AG Pam Bondi | Naked Politics". Miamiherald.typepad.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  39. ^ "In Naples, Sean Hannity throws support behind Connie Mack | Florida politics blog: The Buzz | Tampa Bay Times". Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  40. ^ "Endorsement reversal: Haridopolos backs pal Connie Mack in U.S. Senate race | Post on Politics". Archived from the original on November 6, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  41. ^ GOProud Announces U.S. House Endorsements
  42. ^ "Iraq vet Chris Borgia announces US Senate run (Orlando Sentinel)". Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  43. ^ |Gaylor qualifies for U.S. Senate Run
  44. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Florida NELSON, BILL". fec.gov.
  45. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Florida MACK, CONNIE". fec.gov.
  46. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Florida GAYLOR, WILLIAM G". fec.gov.
  47. ^ Federal Election Commission. "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Florida BORGIA, CHRIS". fec.gov. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  48. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Top Contributors 2012 Race: Florida Senate". opensecrets.org.
  49. ^ Center for Responsive Politics. "Top Industries 2012 Race: Florida Senate". opensecrets.org.
  50. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (October 2, 2012). "Crossroads launches $16 million buy in Senate, presidential contests". Politico.com. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  51. ^ "2012 Senate Race Ratings for November 1, 2012". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  52. ^ "2012 Senate". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  53. ^ "2012 Senate Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  54. ^ "2012 Elections Map - Battle for the Senate 2012". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  55. ^ https://results.elections.myflorida.com/DetailRpt.Asp?ELECTIONDATE=11/6/2012&RACE=USS&PARTY=&DIST=&GRP=&DATAMODE=

External linksEdit