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Poll: Bill Nelson Continues to Lead Rick Scott in 2018 Senate Matchup

March 20, 2017 - 6:45pm

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson continues to edge out Gov. Rick Scott in a hypothetical 2018 matchup, according to the latest poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

According to the survey, released Monday afternoon, Nelson holds a six point lead over Scott for the U.S. Senate seat, routing the governor 48 percent to 42 percent.

Democrats, unsurprisingly, are mostly all in for Nelson. As Nelson looks to nail down his fourth Senate term, he took three-quarters of the base vote --75 percent -- while Scott only took 11 percent with Dems.

Scott also enjoys a high level of support among his core voting bloc -- the governor took 75 percent of the Republican vote, while Nelson took 18 percent. 

Independent voters are, however, a closer tossup for the two candidates, with Nelson leading by 44 percent to Scott’s 38 percent. 

Though the governor may be behind in a campaign matchup, Scott's approval rating is slightly higher than Nelson's. Fifty percent approve of the job he's doing as governor as opposed to the 7  percent who approve of Nelson's job as senator. 

The poll is just the latest to suggest Nelson would lead Scott in a hypothetical matchup for his seat next year. 

Two weeks ago, a Mason-Dixon poll found Nelson beating Scott by five points, 46-41 percent. Another poll from the University of North Florida (UNF) placed Nelson ahead 44 percent to 38 percent earlier this month.

Scott is widely rumored to be seeking a bid at the U.S. Senate, but has yet to officially declare whether he’ll run for Nelson’s seat.

In just seven years, the governor has risen to become 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 all polls suggest he’s still ahead of Scott, at least for now.

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted by Cherry Communications from March 6 through March 14.


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


I have worked for and voted for many Local,State, and National Republican Candidates over the last four decades but I will not under no condition work for or vote for Rick Scott for any elected office in America. This man personally insulted my standing locally so in any political campaign Rick Scott is a candidate I will sit it out.

Go Governor Scott! We need you to replace the liberal Senator Nelson! Nelson is weak on immigration and national security. Nelson supported all of Obama's policies. He must go.

Rick Scott oversaw the largest case of Medicare fraud in US history, and he belongs in prison. He skated because he has money. Bill Nelson's voting record is abysmal. Both candidates are awful. Florida would be stuck with shit choices yet again. Vote third party please. Tired of the retards running for Florida Governor.

"Trounce" ?? Nothing like state fake news. Couldn't make up their minds though, since they used three different verbs to describe this "bloodbath" battle.

What article are you commenting on? Neither the word "trounce" nor the word "bloodbath" appear in this article.

I believe these "polls" like I believe Hillary didn't send any classified emails. We have a long time until this game gets steaming, and one thing we know: Nelson has maxed already! GO RICK SCOTT 2018!!!

Bill Nelson is another poster child for term limits.

WOW, you wrote "he harnessed his business career" but failed to elaborate on the dirty details that he fraudulently deceived taxpayers on fraudulently submitted MRI exams. How about some truth in reporting

Wanna Bet?!?!?... Scott will make a better Senator for Florida than the "Ride-along-rocketeer-'Zippy' Nelson" has EVER been ! "A Chamber of Commerce poll"???????...Well, we know what they're worth: NOTHING ! (They just like to "assume" control of EVERYTHING within their purview, and try to convince ALL of us that they "matter" to our continued existence... hell, they were even against Trump (along with "the Bush with the nickname, who shall not be mentioned"...)

no surprise here, Scott is a failed business, criminal bonehead...

Quality observations you have there. Scott has never failed at his business ventures into the multiple millions. No criminal charges ever. A lawyer is rarely a bonehead. Try law school some time & see.

How quickly you liberals forget! We heard for two years how Hillary was leading in the polls and y'all see how that turned out.


"idiot checker": Quick, run and check your mirror; I think you'll find one there,...for certain!

Polls are not news. It seems that polls are used as a marketing/PR tool for a particular candidate. Nelson? Leading in the polls? This is Fake news at best. I seem to recall that Hillary was a clear shoe-in for President and the Democrats could win control of the Senate and pick up House seats. When you pay for the band, they play your songs, and that is what the polls are doing, playing Democrat music, but Democrats are deaf. If Nelson joins the Democrats in obstructing Trump's Nominations he is toast. He should not wast his money because he candidacy is DOA.

Please send me all information concerning the campaign.

Long past time to get rid of Nelson. He is nothing but a Democrat lapdog, towing the Party line on every point. Not right for the U.S., not right for Florida, not right most of the time. Say "good-bye," Bill.

And Nelson will continue to lead in the polls, as long as you only ask Democrats who they would vote for. We woke up to the invalidity of skewed polls when you kept saying that Hillary would win. Give it up, Allison, no one believes your"fake" polls. Go Governor Scott!!

This poll was conducted by the Florida Chamber and Marian Johnson...I'll take her numbers any day of the week as valid...ALL polls showed H winning, so that point is for Allison, its not her poll, she's just reporting on it...having said that, this is the third poll showing a 5 -6 point margin between Nelson and Scott...that's really very good at this early point, as a campaign hasn't even begun yet...I'm a Scott supporter as well, but we don't want Scott peaking too early...6 points down is a good place to be right now with plenty of time to move calm down, this isn't a fake poll

So good that you agree with this narrow gap; though the author says Nelson is far ahead. While Scott has plenty of room to fly high over the next 16-21 months, where Scott's support, as the "underdog," if you will, has only one (#1) direction to go, but Nelson has already shown his highest cap; hence, he will only maintain or plummet. Which do you think Nelson's campaign chair is thinking? Bye-bye Nelson.

Why do we vote for crooks. Rick Scott and me had a sexual relatio ship 10 years ago. He sucked my dick and it felt ao good. I wiah he would continue to suck my dick.

"Polls" are created for "hit & run" TV-NEWS "talking heads"; However, "so called 'newsprint' reporters" (like "SSN" "desk-seat-jockeys") OVER UTILIZE "polls" from EVERY corner (and college-classroom-exercise) of their very small "realm",.... sadly, THAT is the epidemy of today's "ride-by-journalism". [Hardly worth saving, even to wrap fish in...]. Simply put, "LOBBYS" control "news think"...and YOU citizens, be damned !

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