A second poll released this week shows U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., with a slight lead over Gov. Rick Scott if they clash in the U.S. Senate race next year.
Mason-Dixon released a poll of registered voters showing Nelson ahead 46 percent to 41 percent. Earlier this week, the University of North Florida (UNF) unveiled a poll placing Nelson ahead 44 percent to 38 percent.
As he looks to win a fourth term in the Senate, Nelson has nailed down his Democratic base, taking 81 percent of them while 10 percent go for Scott. The governor has secured the GOP vote, taking 77 percent while 9 percent prefer Nelson. Voters outside the major parties go Nelson’s way 46 percent to 37 percent.
Nelson has the edge with women who prefer him over Scott 49 percent to 36 percent. Scott has a slight advantage with men, leading Nelson 47 percent to 43 percent.
Scott has a slim majority of whites--51 percent--while 36 percent opt for Nelson. But the Democrat takes 84 percent of black voters while 6 percent prefer Scott. Nelson also leads among Hispanics with 59 percent while Scott takes 26 percent of these voters.
Nelson runs over Scott in the southeastern part of the state where the Democrat leads 60 percent to 24 percent. But Scott is up big in North Florida, taking 56 percent while 34 percent are for Nelson. Scott also leads in the southwestern part of the state, pulling 52 percent while Nelson gets 37 percent.
As is so often the case in Florida politics, I-4 looks up for grabs. Nelson and Scott are tied in Central Florida with each candidate taking 44 percent. In Tampa Bay, Nelson is ahead 47 percent to 40 percent.
Despite having been on the Florida political stage for more than four decades, a third of those surveyed--33 percent--are neutral or have never heard of Nelson while 42 percent see him favorably and 25 view him as unfavorable. Scott is seen in a favorable light by 41 percent and as unfavorable by 38 percent while 18 percent are neutral and 3 percent don’t know who he is.
President Donald Trump is upside down in Florida with 43 percent seeing him as favorable while 48 percent see him unfavorably and 9 percent are neutral. But Trump’s policies do slightly better than he does in Florida which he carried in November. Asked if they want a Senate candidate to block or enact his policies, 47 percent say block and 45 percent want a senator to enact Trump’s policies while 8 percent are not sure.
The poll of 625 registered Florida voters was taken from Feb. 24-Feb. 28 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.