Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mel Martinez Not Running In 2010

The Republican junior senator from Florida, still in his first term, will return to the private sector. Martinez was briefly chair of the RNC and was one of those ho-hum Republican candidates swept into power by the 9/11 Republican wave of 2002-2004 (think John Sununu, Liddy Dole et. al.).

Florida has a moderate Republican governor who may or may not be gay, a Democratic U.S. senator and just voted Democratic for president for the first time since 2000... er, 1996.

Martinez's exit will set up a big battle for the heart and soul of Florida for the next half-decade or decade or so. The Democrats are going to go after this seat hard, and for good reason:
Martinez was one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2010, with multiple polls showing him with approval ratings well under 50 percent and with weak reelect numbers.

A November Quinnipiac poll showed a 38 percent plurality of Florida voters believe Martinez doesn’t deserve another term, while only 36 percent believe he should be reelected. Against an unnamed Democratic opponent, Martinez trails by 4 points, 40 percent to 36 percent.
It's two years away, so no need to get one's hopes up. But based off the success at the presidential level in 2008, Florida Democrats should be feeling pretty confident about their chances, especially now that Martinez is gone.

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