MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Republican U.S. Representative Connie Mack IV's Senate campaign is struggling in recent polling and has put in a call to the GOP bullpen to get some help, namely popular Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
The duo was set to travel the state Friday starting with a 10 a.m. gathering at Versailles Restaurant in Miami. After that, Mack and Rubio will travel to the GOP stronghold of The Villages before heading to Tampa to close out the day.
The latest polling from the Washington Post gave Mack's opponent, incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, a 14-point lead, 54-40 percent. That's an identical 14-point lead in a poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll that gave Nelson a 51-37 percent lead.
The lead is slightly larger in those polls than a Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll released earlier in September that gave Nelson an eight-point advantage of 48-40 percent. Overall, the last seven statewide polls have given Nelson a lead of 8-14 points.
Both candidates have started to saturate the television airwaves with ads. Nelson had a campaign war chest of roughly $8.8 million at the end of July, compared to Mack's $1.4 million.
Republicans had high-hopes of flipping the seat held by Nelson after Rubio's victory in 2010. Mack was heavily recruited to run by Republicans, but whether it's Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's numbers bringing Mack's down, or something else, Mack hasn't been able to tap into the same Republican base that Rubio did two years ago.
Monday's scheduled appearances:
- 10 a.m., Versailles Restaurant, 3555 SW 8 St., Miami.
- 2 p.m., The Savannah Center, 1545 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages.
- 4:30 p.m., Landmark Aviation, Passenger Lobby, 2450 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa.