A new poll shows the race between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Gov. Rick Scott deadlocked with few undecided voters.
Quinnipiac University released a poll of likely voters on Wednesday which shows both candidates taking 49 percent. While the election is still two months away, the overwhelming majority of voters behind Scott and Nelson--92 percent of them--say their minds are made up.
"The Florida Senate race, one of the most important this election year, is a dead heat," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Sen. Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, faces the most difficult challenge of his long political career. He is locked in a 49 - 49 percent contest with Republican Rick Scott, Florida's governor."
Both candidates have nailed down their base with 89 percent of Democrats for Nelson and 92 percent of Republicans for Scott. Nelson leads with independents, taking 56 percent of them while Scott takes 43 percent of them.
Scott leads with men 53 percent to 45 percent while Nelson is ahead with women by the same margin. White voters support Scott 55 percent to 44 percent while Nelson takes 90 percent of blacks. Hispanics break Scott’s way 59 percent to 39 percent.
"The campaign is a prototype of our nation's political environment: Democrat Nelson carries women and black voters, while Republican Scott wins among men and white voters. The key in close elections like this one often lies with independent voters. So far, Sen. Nelson has the edge with this swing group. The candidate who holds those voters in November is likely to win," Brown said.
Both Nelson and Scott are above water in the poll. Nelson gets the approval of 49 percent of those surveyed while 43 percent disapprove of him while 48 percent see him as favorable and 42 percent see him as unfavorable. Scott gets the approval of 51 percent while 46 percent disapprove of him while 49 percent see him as favorable and 47 percent view him unfavorably.
Almost half of those surveyed--46 percent--do not see President Donald Trump as an important factor when they vote in the Senate race while 26 percent say they will vote chiefly to support him and 25 percent will chiefly cast their vote to oppose him.
The poll of 785 likely voters was taken from August 30 through September 3 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.