A Rasmussen Reports poll released Wednesday finds U.S. Rep. Connie Mack -- the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination -- with a solid lead over Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida.
The poll of likely voters finds 46 percent backing Mack, while Nelson lags behind with 37 percent. While 10 percent are undecided, 7 percent say they support other candidates in the race. Other polls have shown a closer contest; however, a poll from conservative-leaning Rasmussen in April had the numbers reversed, with Nelson taking 47 percent and Mack trailing with 36 percent.
According to the poll, despite Nelson's four decades on the Florida political stage, he is having a hard time keeping his base intact, getting only 66 percent of Democrats surveyed. While Mack faces a primary on Aug. 14 against former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon and businessman and retired Army officer Mike McCalister, he does better in the poll with his base, as 86 percent of Republicans support him over Nelson. Nelson does better with independents, beating Mack by 9 percent with those voters.
In the survey, Mack leads among both sexes. Taking 48 percent of women surveyed, Mack has a solid lead with those voters while Nelson trails with 38 percent of them. Nelson runs closer among male voters but cannot catch the Republican with them. Mack takes 43 percent of the men surveyed while Nelson gets the support of 37 percent of them.
Rasmussen finds that Nelson is viewed as very favorable by 17 percent of those surveyed and very unfavorable by 25 percent. Mack arouses less passion with 18 percent seeing him as very favorable and 14 percent as very unfavorable.
The poll also shows that Gov. Rick Scott remains upside down with Florida voters though the Republican does better in the Rasmussen poll than he has in other recent surveys. A majority of those surveyed -- 53 percent -- disapprove of Scott while 44 percent approve of the governor.
On Tuesday, Rasmussen unveiled a poll showing a close contest between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts to win Floridas 29 Electoral College votes. The poll found Romney taking 46 percent and Obama right behind him with 45 percent.
The poll of 500 likely voters was taken on July 9 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.
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