MacManus: Dems May Have Senate Edge

TAMPA -

Democrats in statewide seats have been as scarce in Florida as snow flurries. There are only two - CFO Alex Sink and Sen. Bill Nelson. But USF political science professor Susan MacManus says the party has its best shot in years at adding to that ledger.

She says despite the Republican's recent lock on the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, times have changed. And two years, she says, isn't a lot of time to raise money to run for Senate, which includes buying costly television air time statewide.

'It looks like Democrats may have a little bit of an edge in fundraising, following a very sucessful presidential year,' she says. 'It's always easier for the incubent party to raise money. So I think the that the Republicans that get in may get in, but they may get out fairly quickly if they can't raise money.'

MacManus says Jeb Bush's quick decision not to run did a favor to other Republicans, who will have to start serious fund-raising efforts now.

Prominent names such as state House Speaker Marco Rubio, Attorney General Bill McCollum and CFO Alex Sink have been bandied about for the job. But MacManus says we could see more regional candidates. She mentioned two: Panhandle Congressman Alan Boyd and Dan Gelber of South Florida, both Democrats.

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