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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Florida -- 16

FL 16: Mahoney Tanks

New numbers out of embattled Rep. Tim Mahoney's Florida district shows having multiple mistresses is not the way to win re-election. Mahoney, who is apparently even flirting with withdrawing at this late date, may simply not have a prayer.

The Tarrance Group poll for the National Republican Congressional Committee surveyed 300 likely voters 10/15-16 for a margin of error of +/- 5.8%. Mahoney, a first-term Democrat, and attorney Tom Rooney were tested.

General Election Matchup
Rooney.........55 (+24 from last, 10/9)
Mahoney........29 (-27)

Mahoney's favorable rating has plummeted to 28%, while 53% see him unfavorably after revelations he paid a former mistress $121,000 to avoid a lawsuit and was involved in another affair with a local county official. In all, nearly nine in ten voters have heard about the scandal.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said the normally loquacious NRCC flak Ken Spain.

FL 16: Mahoney (D) +7

After he said being in Congress wasn't the best job he's ever had, it's no wonder freshman Democrat Tim Mahoney finds himself atop Republican target lists. A new poll conducted for Mahoney's GOP opponent shows the Florida Democrat ahead, though he may not want to let his resume get too out of date.

The survey, conducted by The Tarrance Group for businessman Tom Rooney, surveyed 400 likely voters between 9/7-8 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Mahoney and Rooney were tested.

General Election Matchup
Mahoney........48
Rooney.........41

Mahoney gets tepid marks as an incumbent, with just 32% saying he deserves re-election and 41% saying it's time for someone new.

Mahoney faces a tough opponent in Rooney, someone state Republicans have been trying to goad into running for office for years. One of the heirs to the Pittsburgh Rooney family, which owns the Steelers, Rooney has the ability to put some of his own money into the race, and he's already proven a quick political study, having knocked off two strong opponents in last month's primary.

Democrats recognize the danger Mahoney faces, and they've put him on the Frontline program, which closely monitors the progress of endangered incumbents. Mahoney took over a seat held until 2006 by Mark Foley, who resigned after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal.

The district, based in Palm Beach County and winding its way across central Florida, is Republican enough to have given Mahoney just a 4,000-vote win even against Foley's name (Had Foley's name received more votes, State Rep. Joe Negron would have taken the seat; Negron ran his one-month campaign as Foley's replacement by using signs that read "Punch Foley for Negron"). With no scandal-plagued opponent to help him, Mahoney could face a tough fight for re-election.