tampabay.com

Harris says she'll win despite polls

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 4, 2006


JACKSONVILLE - Gov. Jeb Bush doesn't think Rep. Katherine Harris can beat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Neither does the state Republican Party leadership, nor her three former campaign managers.

That doesn't matter to Harris. Even when there are stories after stories about campaign troubles, she believes all the others are wrong.

"We'll win, so don't listen to the prognosticators, or the pollsters - you can make a poll say anything you want," Harris said Thursday at the end of a passionate campaign speech. "Don't be discouraged by the liberal media. Don't be discouraged. We've done it before. We'll do it again."

The news wasn't good for Harris this week.

A May 7 letter from state Republican Party leaders was disclosed. It said they could not support Harris because she can't win. Former campaign staffers revealed that Harris didn't tell them the campaign received a subpoena as part of a federal corruption investigation. The FBI began contacting her former campaign and congressional staff members.

She says she's not paying attention.

"Every Republican event I go to, I get their overwhelming support," Harris said afterward. "When people hear our message and they know what we stand for, rather than all the caricatures that are created, then we know we're going to win.

"We'll get the momentum after the primary, then everyone will come on board and all the naysayers will stop," she continued.

Harris has continued on in her campaign well beyond the point that others would have quit.

She is more than 30 points down in the polls, her fundraising has lagged, she's seen a tremendous amount of staff turnover, party leaders tried to recruit opponents, and she has received more attention for $32,000 in illegal contributions she took from a defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing another congressman than she has on issues.