We're hearing that Republican Florida House Speaker Allen Bense (R) is quietly talking to state and national GOP fundraisers about challenging Rep. Katherine Harris for the Republican Senate nomination. The filing deadline is May 12. Harris has been under intense pressure to back out of the race in light was a series of gaffes, whiffs of ethical impropriety and staff defections. A candidate should knows she's cooked when her own campaign advisers go public with information that her opponents would normally leak. Timing here, obviously, is critical. Sen. Bill Nelson, who at one time was considered to be a beatable candidate has raised upwards of $10 million, and his seat is now considered safe. All of this comes at a time when national Republican leaders are getting an earful about the dire condition of the party leading into the 2006 election cycle. Day-after reviews of polling numbers in Ohio raise a number of red flags about party enthusiasm and the ability of some candidates to get out the vote.
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