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Bill Nelson Leading Rick Scott in Senate Matchup Poll

March 6, 2017 - 8:45am
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott

If the 2018 U.S. Senate election were held today, incumbent Bill Nelson would win a hypothetical matchup against Gov. Rick Scott, a new poll shows. 

The University of North Florida survey found Nelson routing Scott by six points, leading him 44-38. 

Scott has still not declared his candidacy for the race, but the poll indicates the matchup is already shaping up to get closer and closer as 2018 looms. 

“Even though it’s very early in the 2018 election season, Nelson’s six-point lead is meaningful,” said UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory faculty director Michael Binder. 

The Senate race is bound to be one of the hottest in the country due to Scott's tenure as governor and for his public relationship with President Donald Trump. 

“This race is going to get national attention and Rick Scott’s alliance with Donald Trump will likely factor into this election’s outcome next year," said Binder. 

Scott's approval rating stands slightly higher than Nelson's, with 46 percent of Floridians approving while 40 percent disapprove. 

A smaller number -- 42 percent -- say they approve of the job Nelson is doing, but only 28 percent disapprove. 

In just seven years, Scott has risen to one of the strongest figures among Florida Republicans. Once a political unknown, he harnessed his business career and springboarded his fortune into politics. 

He has won two consecutive terms as Florida governor, running against some of the biggest names in Florida politics, former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and former Gov. and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. 

Scott was recently named as Vice Chair of the Republican Governors Association, which he will chair next year. 

The governor has marketed his term as governor with a heavy jobs focus, traveling the state to promise jobs to Floridians to get them back to work. 

Some have criticized Nelson for maintaining a low profile moving into 2018, but the poll suggests he's still ahead for now. 

The poll of 973 registered Florida voters was conducted Feb. 13-26 and has a margin of error of +/-3.14 percent. 


Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


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No surprise here... You see the comments from the Scott supporters. Nothing else needs to be said.

This is just more of Allison Neilson's "poll nonsense" that she uses in place of real journalism, Senator "Zippy" Nelson is "toast" that 'goes nowhere' (unless you strap him into another rocketship "monkey chair"). He's one of the worst Senators Florida has ever "glued" into a "Senate seat". Scott has proven his abilities to turn Florida into a 21st century State; and should actually be "tapped" for a Federal Administration 'seat'.... (Listening Donald?). I am still of the opinion that "Opie" Putnam will be our next Governor,... and I am a Democrat who will ONCE AGAIN vote Republican... FOR "OPIE" !

Which FLORIDA are we talking about? The "Old Southern agriculture farm & ranch Plantation, with Coastal Tourists", or the "Lively, Fast-Growing Florida with so many NEWBIES that Florida vies with Texas as THIRD most Populous State"? Bill Nelson is an "OLD SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT", while Rick Scott is pushing Florida into the 21st Century... my choice is RICK! Why? Because we are NOT going BACKWARDS!

Perhaps it is time for Scott to retire.

I've always liked Bill Nelson until I recently was able to get a close look at him. He looks awful and if not for his staff, he'd probably forget his way. Sadly, he must retire and NOT run for reelection again. Why is it 'forced' retirement is acceptable for everyone else but for the Congressional membership? It really is time for Mr. Nelson to retire!

Both of these career politicians need to step aside. God how self absorbed of Nelson and Scott to think either one would be successful. The only thing they have going for them is money. The voters will hold the Trump card on this one. Let's hope that someone with a half a brain will step up and give both of these unfit narcissists their walking papers!

If 2nd Amendment matters in the slightest way then Nelson must be defeated! If Scott is the Republican nominee, he has a strong record of defense of Constitutional rights, and would be worthy of consideration.

Nelson is in lock step with the Obama Dems throughout the socialization of our REPUBLIC !! I will pray for his ouster and a return to freedom and capitalism!!

you don't know what "socialism" is, to you everything left of Jerry falwell is probably communist

I have consistently supported Bill Nelson and will continue to work and vote for him. Senator Nelson is not flashy, doesn't bust out on Twitter, just quietly goes about doing his job as a public servant for the people of Florida. He'll get my vote in the election of 2018!

You "called it" 'Cliff";.. "Zippy" Nelson does NOTHING: He has long been unapproachable by his constituents in ANY fashion, he is artfully insulated from them at all times by his staff; all we get from Senator "Zippy" is "boilerplate", self agrandizement 'franked' mailings also amounting to NOTHING. LET ZIPPY GO !!!! [Some Lobby will hire him at five times his Senate salary... and to their dismay, will learn that he is an "empty suit"...]

Time for Nelson to retire,

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