News Published: Oct 22, 2018 - 2:33:44 PM

QU Poll: Nelson holds lead in FL Senate race, hurricane does not lift Scott or Trump

By Quinnipiac University Poll

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Despite his exposure in the wake of Hurricane Michael, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger in the U.S. Senate race, gains virtually no ground on Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, getting 46 percent of likely voters to Sen. Nelson’s 52 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

This compares to a 53 – 46 percent likely voter lead for Sen. Nelson in a September 25 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.

Today, women, black, Hispanic and independent voters are the main drivers of Nelson’s lead:
? Women back the Democrat 59 – 39 percent, as men back Scott 54 – 44 percent;
? White voters back Scott 53 – 44 percent. Nelson leads 94 – 3 percent among black voters and 59 – 39 percent among Hispanic voters;
? Nelson leads 93 – 6 percent among Democrats and 60 – 38 percent among independent
voters. Republicans back Scott 89 – 9 percent.

Only 2 percent of Florida likely voters remain undecided and 4 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind in the next 15 days.

“The Florida race is one of a handful of contests around the country that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott have spent so many millions of dollars on television ads it is almost impossible to avoid seeing them,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“At this point, Sen. Nelson’s six-point overall lead is built on his large margin among independent voters, 60 – 38 percent. If that margin holds up, the senator will be difficult to beat. Moreover, Sen. Nelson’s 20-point advantage among women is twice Gov. Scott’s 10-point edge among men.”

“Nelson is just better liked. Florida likely voters view him favorably by 10 percentage points, and see Gov. Scott unfavorably by five points,” Brown added.

Florida likely voters give Nelson a 51 – 41 percent favorability rating.

Scott gets a negative 45 – 50 percent favorability rating, virtually unchanged from his negative 46 – 51 percent rating September 25.

Florida likely voters give President Donald Trump a negative 46 – 51 percent job approval rating, compared to a negative 44 – 54 percent job approval rating September 25.

From October 17 – 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,161 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, including the design effect.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.

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