United States Senate election in Florida, 2004

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States Senate election in Florida, 2004
Florida
1998 ←
November 2, 2004
→ 2010

  Mel Martinez.jpg Betty Castor.jpg
Nominee Mel Martínez Betty Castor
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 3,672,864 3,590,201
Percentage 49.4% 48.3%

United States Senate election in Florida, 2004.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Graham
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Mel Martínez
Republican

The 2004 United States Senate election in Florida took place on November 2, 2004 alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Graham decided to retire instead of seeking a fourth term. The primary elections were held on August 31, 2004. Republican Mel Martínez won the open seat.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Betty Castor 669,346 58.1%
Democratic Peter Deutsch 321,922 27.9%
Democratic Alex Penelas 115,898 10.1%
Democratic Bernard E. Klein 45,347 3.9%
Totals 1,152,513 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Martínez was supported by the Bush Administration.

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican Primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mel Martínez 522,994 44.9%
Republican Bill McCollum 360,474 30.9%
Republican Doug Gallagher 158,360 13.6%
Republican Johnnie Byrd 68,982 5.9%
Republican Karen Saull 20,365 1.7%
Republican Sonya March 17,804 1.5%
Republican Larry Klayman 13,257 1.1%
Republican William Billy Kogut 3,695 0.3%
Totals 1,165,931 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Until the spring of 2004, Castor's fundraising was much slower than her Democratic and Republican rivals[citation needed]. In the spring, the campaign hired fundraising staff from the defunct presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and Bob Graham[citation needed], and subsequently posted much higher fundraising numbers over the summer[citation needed]. Online grassroots techniques devised for the Dean campaign (Castor became a Dean Dozen candidate in August[citation needed]) were one contributing factor[citation needed]: another was the support of EMILY's List[citation needed], which named Castor as its highest-rated candidate for the 2004 election cycle[citation needed], even when her support for banning intact dilation and extraction (D&X) abortions was not in line with the EMILY's List support for woman's issues[citation needed]. The latter was a source of criticism during the August primary heat - a complaint was filed by a Deutsch supporter with the Federal Election Commission accusing inappropriate coordination with EMILY's List[citation needed]. The complaint was dismissed by the Federal Election Commission in 2005[citation needed].

Castor's handling of Sami Al-Arian became another source of criticism during the campaign[citation needed]. In June, The American Democracy Project, a 527 group founded by Bernie Friedman[citation needed], began attacking Castor's handling of the incident, alleging that she had sufficient evidence to fire Al-Arian in the mid-1990s[citation needed]. Castor responded by stating that she never had sufficient evidence to fire Al-Arian, who was a tenured professor at the time[citation needed]. On June 29, Senator Graham, who had previously remained outside of the Al-Arian controversy, released a statement that "Betty Castor acted appropriately as President of the University of South Florida to deal with Sami Al-Arian"[citation needed]: later, Graham and Senator Bill Nelson brokered an agreement between the Democratic candidates to refrain from negative campaigning against each other[citation needed], although this agreement appeared to break down in the final weeks of the race, when Deutsch launched attack ads on television[citation needed].

Despite these controversies, Castor won the Democratic nomination on August 31. She was defeated, however, by Republican candidate Mel Martínez in a close race on November 2, 2004. The overwhelming support for Martínez among Latinos effectively counterbalanced Castor's relatively high popularity among swing voters throughout the state.

There was some speculation that Castor would run for Governor of Florida in 2006 to replace Jeb Bush, who was ineligible for re-election due to term limits, but she announced in 2005 that she would not be a candidate.

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Betty
Castor (D)
Mel
Martínez (R)
Other Undecided
Quinnipiac October 22–26, 2004 944 ± 3.2 46% 49% 0% 5%
Quinnipiac October 15–19, 2004 808 ± 3.5 47% 47% 0% 5%
Quinnipiac October 1–5, 2004 717 ± 3.7 47% 48% 0% 5%
Quinnipiac September 18–21, 2004 819 ± 3.4 43% 42% 0% 14%
Poll Source[3] Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
Error
Mel
Martínez
(R)
Betty
Castor
(D)
Unde-
cided
Zogby International October 31 600 ± 4.0% 46% 46% 7%
Quinnipiac University October 31 1098 ± 3.0% 49% 44% 6%
CNN/USA Today/Gallup October 28 1138 ± 4.0% 46% 48% 5%
Mason Dixon October 26 625 ± 4.0% 47% 46% 6%
New York Times October 23 802 ± 3.0% 44% 47% 10%
Quinnipiac University October 22 944 ± 3.2% 49% 46% 5%
Insider Advantage October 22 400 ± 5.0% 46% 44% 4%
Survey USA October 22 741 ± 3.7% 47% 50% 12%
Miami Herald October 19 800 ± 3.5% 44% 44% -
Research 2000 October 18 600 ± 4.0% 48% 48% 4%
Quinnipiac University October 15 808 ± 3.5% 47% 47% 5%
Survey USA October 15 596 ± 4.1% 49% 47% 1%
Mason-Dixon October 14 625 ± 4.0% 45% 45% 9%
UNF October 10 641 ± 4.0% 35% 38% 12%
Mason-Dixon October 4 625 ± 4.0% 46% 41% 12%
Mason-Dixon October 4 625 ± 4.0% 46% 41% 12%
Quinnipiac University October 1 706 ± 3.8% 48% 47% 5%
Survey USA October 1 706 ± 3.8% 50% 46% 1%
Gallup Sept. 18 674 ± 4.0% 45% 51% 4%
Quinnipiac University Sept. 18 819 ± 3.4% 42% 43% 13%
Survey USA Sept. 12 602 ± 4.1% 45% 49% 1%
Rasmussen Reports August 24 500 ± 4.5% 44% 44% -

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in Florida, 2004[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mel Martínez 3,672,864 49.4% +11.9%
Democratic Betty Castor 3,590,201 48.3% -14.2%
Veterans Dennis F. Bradley 166,642 2.2% +2.2%
Write-ins 187 0.00%
Majority 82,663 1.1%
Total votes 7,429,894 100%
Republican hold Swing

References[edit]

See also[edit]