Democrat Senator Bill Nelson is up for re-election in 2012, he’s a fairly popular democrat so who will mount the challenge? Florida Republicans overwhelmingly support a guy named Bush. Jeb Bush U.S. Senate? It could happen.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush introduces Republican senator elect Marco Rubio during the Reclaim America Victory Celebration at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami on November 2, 2010. UPI/Martin Fried Photo via Newscom

A liberal polling firm, Public Policy Polling, found that 72% of Florida Republicans backed Bush if he were to enter the race. The next closest competitor only garnered 6% support among GOP faithful. So that begs the question. Could Jeb Bush win an election of national interest in a hotly contested state like Florida?

I think the answer is a resounding yes for a couple of reasons. First, the Bush name doesn’t carry the stigma that it did from 2006-2008. Jeb’s brother George W. is beginning to gain back a little bit of the respect that democrats worked so hard to strip from him. And again, we’re talking about Jeb Bush for U.S. Senate not President of the United States.

Secondly, Bush was a very popular governor and he remains well liked within the state. And let’s be honest, no one would be able to rake in the dough and ride the wave of name recognition like former governor Jeb Bush.

PPP says that Nelson could be vulnerable in the upcoming 2012 senate race and a candidate like Jeb Bush might just be the ticket. It’s hard to imagine a candidate like Marco Rubio emerging to fill Florida’s second senate seat. Jeb Bush U.S. Senate? We’ll just have to wait and see.