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Posted by on Jul 27, 2006 in At TMV | 9 comments

GOP Voters Deserting Katherine Harris In Droves

It’s like a bunch of you-know-what’s fleeing a sinking you-know what.

Katherine Harris’ Senate candidacy in Florida is to increased poll numbers what garlic breath is to romance:

In only three months, U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris has lost almost half of the Republicans who planned to vote for her, according to a new poll that suggests the congresswoman has little chance of unseating Sen. Bill Nelson.

”This candidacy was an uphill battle to begin with. But it can’t even climb now. It just loses ground,” Brad Coker, director for Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., said Tuesday

.

In other words: Harris’ candidacy debuted as a lose-lose enterprise and it has been losing ground ever since. The Miami Herald continues:

Were the election held now, Nelson would best Harris 57 percent to 29 percent, according to the poll of 625 registered Florida voters that has an error margin of four percentage points. Only 14 percent were undecided.

Even in the Republican primary, Harris would fare poorly: Coker said a March poll against an expected challenger showed she garnered 72 percent of the GOP vote. But now, against three little-known GOP opponents, she wins only 36 percent of the vote. Forty-three percent of Republican voters are undecided. Candidate Will McBride wins 11 percent, LeRoy Collins Jr. 8 percent and Peter Monroe 2 percent.

Still, Harris gave little indication she’s giving up. Her campaign Tuesday criticized Nelson for proposing that the Senate refuse to bargain with the House when it comes to competing oil and gas legislation.

”Stubbornly refusing to negotiate with the U.S. House of Representatives is counterproductive and not senatorial,” Harris said in a release that declares her “the Republican candidate for United States Senate.”

Is Harris’ stick-to-it-iveness indicative of an admirable persistence or a political self-destructiveness fueled by an incredible ego? The answer to that question is sure to be given in her political obituary — which no doubt the Herald and other publication have already written and saved and will use after Election Day.

Just recap her unique status on America’s political scene:

–She was highly controversial due to her role as Florida Secretary of State in the 2000 Presidential election. She became the Bush-loyalist Republican who Democrats loved to hate. To Republicans in the immediate aftermath of the 2000 elections, she was a profile in courage. To some Democrats a participant in suspected hanky-panky.

–She decided to run for Senate but when it became clear that due to political hubris she was as just a mite more popular than a yeast infection or jock itch, the White House and Republican bigwigs tried to send her subtle and not-so-subtle signals so that she would read the handwriting on the wall and pull out of the race.

–She insisted on staying in anyway.

–She announced that she’d be making a major campaign statement and it turned out to be her promise to use a big chunk of her new inheritance to fund her campaign. Later it turned out she would use a not-as-big chunk.

— She then became the focus of highly entertaining news stories about allegations that she is a political diva, the boss-from-hell, a micromanager. Her staff turnover became a huge story in itself.

So Harris is now suffering from the worst of three worlds: (1) Bush loyalists aren’t totally happy with her because she can’t take a political hint, (2) some other GOPers don’t think she is the best candidate and (3) Democrats still detest her as the symbol of political machinery they believe cheated Al Gore out of the White House.

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