According to a highly-respected opinion poll released on Tuesday Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has taken a significant lead over his formidable GOP opponent, Governor Rick Scott.
The Quinnipiac University Poll is widely followed so the fact that its new poll shows Nelson with a seven point lead over Scott has captured national attention. It shows incumbent Nelson leading Scott by 53 percent to 46 percent among Florida likely voters.
This is far outside the statistical margin of error, and the fact that it shows the preference of just “likely” voters instead of all registered voters gives it more weight.
Here are other significant findings from the Quinnipiac Poll:
- A September 5 survey showed a 49 – 49 percent tie between Nelson and Scott, so all movement in Nelson’s direction has happened in the past three weeks.
- Women support Sen. Nelson by a 58 percent to 41 percent margin. But men are more evenly divided, with 51 percent supporting Gov. Scott and 47 percent for Sen. Nelson.
- White voters support Scott by 53 percent to 45 percent while black voters support Nelson 90 percent to 10 percent and Hispanic voters support Nelson 61 percent to 39 percent.
- Republicans back Scott 89 percent to 10 percent while Nelson has a 94 percent to 5 percent lead among Democrats.
- Nelson leads 56 percent to 40 percent among independent voters.
- Among Florida likely voters who name a candidate choice, 94 percent say their mind is made up.
In addition to polling voting preferences the poll also polled favorability ratings.
In this area, Nelson is far “above water” with a 53 percent to 41 percent favorability rating. Scott on the other hand is “under water” with a net negative 46 percent to 51 percent favorability rating.
President Donald Trump is also “under water” among Florida likely voters as he has a net negative 44 percent to 54 percent job approval rating in the poll.
Senator Nelson was attacked by Scott and the Florida Republican Party in August when he claimed that Russians had hacked Florida’s election systems.
Scott is closely tied to President Trump, and has come under severe attack in Florida in recent weeks due to his lax environmental policies.
Another opinion poll released on Tuesday, the NBC/Marist Poll, also showed Nelson with a significant lead.
New NBC/Marist Florida polls (likely voters)
Nelson (D) 48%
Scott (R) 45%
Gillum (D) 48%
DeSantis (R) 43%
Trump job performance
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) September 25, 2018
Things are looking good for Democrats in Florida, although the battle is far from over with nearly six weeks to go until election day.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.