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Bill Nelson, Rick Scott Running Close in New Poll

February 20, 2018 - 5:15pm
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott
Bill Nelson and Rick Scott

A new poll shows Florida voters should expect a close race in November if Gov. Rick Scott decides to challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Gravis released a poll of registered Florida voters on Tuesday showing Nelson taking 44 percent with Scott behind him with 40 percent while 16 percent of those surveyed are uncertain on who they will vote for.

Scott is approved by 43 percent while 35 percent disapprove of him and 23 percent are uncertain about him despite having served two terms in Tallahassee. Gravis did not poll to see where Nelson stood with Florida voters.

The governor does win high marks for his handling of Hurricane Irma with a strong majority of those surveyed—70 percent—approving his response to that storm while only 16 percent disapprove of it. Scott gets lower marks when asked about how he managed nursing homes and medical facilities during Irma with 45 percent approving the governor and 30 percent disapproving of him. More than 6 million Floridians lost their power during Irma and 14 senior citizens at a nursing home in Hollywood died as the facility was without power.

While Scott has not entered the race, he is expected to challenge Nelson who is running for a fourth term.

President Donald Trump is upside down in the poll with almost half of those surveyed—49 percent—disapproving of him while 41 percent approve of him. However, 47 percent approve of Trump’s handling of Irma while 44 percent disapprove of it.

Asked about U.S. House races in November, 39 percent of Floridians say they will vote for a Democrat while 36 percent say they will vote for the Republican. A quarter of those surveyed—25 percent—remain undecided.

The poll of 1,978 registered voters across Florida was taken from Feb. 1 through Feb. 18 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent. While registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in Florida, 34 percent of those surveyed are Republicans, 33 percent are outside the two major parties and 32 percent are Democrats.



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