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Poll: Rick Scott's Approval Rating Trends Above Bill Nelson's with 2018 on Horizon

April 11, 2017 - 9:45am
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott

Bad news for Bill Nelson: more Floridians approve of the job Rick Scott is doing as governor as Nelson is doing as U.S. Senator, according to two new surveys released Tuesday.

The Morning Consult polls, which rank all 100 senators and 50 governors on their job performances, surveyed nearly 8,800 Floridians from January to March. The poll found more than half of Floridians -- 57 percent -- approved of Scott’s performance, while a smaller number, 53 percent, approved of Nelson’s performance.

Scott is widely rumored to be feeling out the possibility to make a run for Nelson’s Senate seat next year, and if the poll numbers are accurate, it looks like the two-term Florida governor could give Nelson a run for his money.

More Floridians disapproved of Scott’s performance, with 36 percent saying they felt that way while 26 percent of voters felt similarly about Nelson’s performance.

While Nelson might not have as high of a disapproval rating, something else should make him nervous: more Florida voters don’t even know who he is, despite serving as one of Florida’s senators for over 16 years.

Over one-fifth of voters -- 21 percent -- said they didn’t know who Nelson was, while a much smaller amount -- seven percent -- said the same about Scott. 

"Both Senator Nelson and Governor Scott have relatively strong approval ratings," said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s Chief Research Officer. "However, if Scott enters the race he will immediately have a valuable leg-up in terms of name ID.”

Nelson should be nervous about Scott’s numbers, which have only improved in recent months. 

The governor’s numbers are trending up significantly since Morning Consult’s last poll in September, when Scott netted a 49 percent approval rating.

Other polls have consistently shown Nelson ahead of Scott as he continues to edge him out in surveys. 

A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll released last month showed Nelson with a six-point lead over Scott for the U.S. Senate seat, routing the governor 48 percent to 42 percent.

Another survey from the University of North Florida found Nelson also beating Scott by six points, leading him 44-38. 

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

The Morning Consult poll was conducted online from January to March 2017. 


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



As of right now, Nelson has my vote. With the horrible environmental problems this state is having, I don't see Scott having a plan to properly fix them because of his major donors. Scott is also shying away from tackling the opioid crisis head on. Until these two issues are changed, which I highly doubt they are, I'm voting for the astronaut!

I'll vote for Bill Nelson to be my Senator anytime. He care about the people, he cares about Florida, never tried to cheat Medicare, is a scholar and gentleman. He has done the job well and will always be better in that role than Scott. Time for Scott to retire and enjoy his millions.

Somebody (i.e. a Republican) better make a run at Nelson's seat. I want that seat in 2018 so the RNC better put up someone who can win.

With the enormous water and then tourism or Everglades or drinking water problems caused by Scott I hope and pray this state realizes Senator Bill Nelson is far superior a choice. He cares about our issues and speaks out and passes legislation. The other candidate is making himself richer and ruining the state.

Scott's "disapproval" numbers are due to overwhelmingly biased Dem media since Day 1 of his governorship. Similar to how they've been treating Trump with their fake news. But we'll see how effective that is when Scott even begins to run for Senate :-)

Bill Nelson has been a GOOD Democrat, always sticking to Party Lines. By now, the majority should recognize Dems as MISCREANTS and need to either start THINKING or recognize the damage that they have done throughout the OBAMA HORROR.

Ha....anyone with any Common Sense...should know NELSON is a Sell OUT...Obama Boy ..and only does for Himself than for Floridians....Just as he did When Nasa let him Fly in Space Shuttle...then he Sold out Space Shuttle workers With Obama Shutdown Defund Game...When HE & Obama set there & told Space Shuttle Workers on Campaign that THEY ARE WITH SPACE PROGRAM....THEY LIED & STILL LYING...its a DemoCrat Culture...LIES...LIES...LIES.......Hoorah Gov.Scott & Pres.Trump DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY GOING TO DO......

who they asking? skeletor is more slippery than a frog in an algae bloom...

Hmmmm, 57% to 53%. Great poll, totaling 110%. These are the kind of numbers Scott has enjoyed for awhile.

UHHHH, Mark, it was two different polls, one was about Scott, one was about Nelson. Happy to see more approve of Scott. Go Scott!!!

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