From newspapers to blogs to cable news, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum captured the national spotlight Tuesday for leading the court fight against President Barack Obama's health reform plan.
Moments after President Obama signed the massive health-insurance bill, McCollum and 12 other attorneys general quickly filed suit in federal court to block what he said is an unconstitutional mandate that people buy health insurance or face fines. The suit also targets the expansion of Medicaid.
``We simply cannot afford to do the things in this bill that we're mandated to do,'' McCollum, a Republican candidate for governor, said in a packed news conference in Tallahassee, hours after making his pitch on Fox News.
Normally, that sort of media exposure is campaign gold. This year, the electorate is tough to gauge, pollsters say.
Though most polls show more Americans opposed the healthcare bill than supported it, recent surveys suggest that people are warming up to it. Gallup, one of the nation's leading polling firms, reported Tuesday that 49 percent of those surveyed now support the bill's passage, while 40 percent opposed it.
With such swings in sentiment, pollsters and political strategists are split over whether McCollum's court fight is a vote-getter -- or a risk to his gubernatorial campaign if more Floridians start supporting the law. The new law calls for $250 subsidies for some needy seniors, some small-business tax credits and more insurance coverage for children with preexisting conditions.
All those benefits start flowing just before the 2010 election.