While most recent polls have shown a very close race, a new survey from Quinnipiac University finds U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., with a solid lead over Republican challenger Gov. Rick Scott.
In sharp contrast to a Quinnipiac poll taken in the first week of September which had both candidates taking 49 percent, the new poll of likely voters has Nelson with 53 percent and Scott at 46 percent.
Nelson takes 58 percent of women while 41 percent back Scott though men prefer the governor 51 percent to 47 percent. White voters go for Scott 53 percent to 45 percent but black voters break 90 percent to 10 percent for Nelson while Hispanics back the Democrat 61 percent to 39 percent.
Both candidates have secured their party bases with Nelson getting 94 percent of Democrats while 89 percent of Republicans back Scott. Nelson leads with voters outside the major parties 56 percent to 40 percent.
With six weeks to go, the overwhelming majority of voters behind either Scott and Nelson--94 percent--say their mind is made up on who they will back.
A majority of those surveyed--53 percent--see Nelson as favorable while 41 percent view him as unfavorable. Unlike most recent polls which show the governor above water, Scott is seen as favorable by 46 percent while 51 see him as unfavorable. President Donald Trump is approved 44 percent while 54 percent disapprove of him.
"Sen. Bill Nelson has edged ahead of Gov. Rick Scott in the race for one of Florida's U.S. Senate seats, breaking a 49 - 49 percent tie between the two men in the previous Quinnipiac University poll of this race earlier this month," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, on Tuesday. "Sen. Nelson is ahead 53 - 46 percent by doing a tad better than Gov. Scott with their respective bases and holding a 16-point lead among the key independent voting bloc. Nelson also leads among women and is breaking even among men - the traditional path to a Democratic victory.
"A Nelson win would be a big boost for Democratic hopes of wresting control of the U.S. Senate from the GOP,” Brown added.
A majority of those surveyed-- 56 percent--want Congress to be "more of a check on President Trump," while 30 percent say "Congress is doing enough to be a check on President Trump."
Asked what the most important issue in the Senate election is, 26 percent say healthcare, 19 percent say the economy, 18 percent say immigration, 15 percent say the Supreme Court and 12 percent say gun policy.
Asked if Judge Brett Kavanaugh should serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, 47 percent say yes and 48 percent say no. There is a gender gap on the matter with 55 percent of men saying yes and 54 percent of women saying no.
The poll of 888 likely Florida voters was taken from Sept. 20-Sept. 24 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
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