FGCU Political professor gives election edge to Aubuchon
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
BONITA SPRINGS - With just days to go until Tuesday's primary, the Republican race to replace Connie Mack in Congress is too close to call.
With the race neck-and-neck, it's hard to predict who will win. But Florida Gulf Coast University Political Science Professor Peter Bergerson gives the edge to one candidate.
"I probably would put my money on [Gary] Aubuchon," said Bergerson, citing his name recognition and experience.
A last minute flurry of fiery ads could boost turnout but won't be a game changer, according Bergerson.
"I think the attack ads play a role," said Bergerson. "Are they going to determine the outcome of the election? Probably not."
What will impact the outcome is name recognition, he said from his Bonita Springs home.
"If they recall their name and something positive with that name," said Bergerson, "that's the person that's going to jump out ahead."
Bergerson believes the six-man race is now a toss up between the top four front runners. In his opinion, those are: Gary Aubuchon, Trey Radel, Paige Kreegel and Chauncey Goss.
"I think the winner will be one of those," said Bergerson.
Not on his list is political newcomer Byron Donalds who won the Lee County Straw Poll.
"I don't put much faith in the predictability of straw polls," said Bergerson. "I would not put him as a high finisher, frankly."
Finishing in a tight race will be tough since Bergerson predicts just a small percentage, possibly two to five points, will decide this tight race. That's why he says turnout is so important.
"The candidate who gets their voters to the polls," said Bergerson, "will be the key."
They key is who can do a better job getting their supporters to the polls.
"The candidate who gets their organization, identifies their voters," said Bergerson, "they'll be the one that wins."
Election supervisors are predicting a 35-40 percent turnout, which is about average. Bergerson says it's rare, but not uncommon, to have a race with so many people be so close.
The winner of the GOP primary faces Democrat Jim Roach in November.
Candidate Trey Radel is married to Fox 4 anchor Amy Wegmann, who is on a leave of absence from the station.