Incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson Leads Rick Scott by Six in New Poll

A new poll of registered voters in Florida by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) at the University of North Florida shows that, when asked about the 2018 election, 44 percent of Florida registered voters said they would vote to re-elect Sen. Bill Nelson, while 38 percent said they would vote for Gov. Rick Scott and 12 percent were undecided.

“Even though it’s very early in the 2018 election season, Nelson’s six-point lead is meaningful,” said Dr. Michael Binder, UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory faculty director. “This race is going to get national attention and Rick Scott’s alliance with Donald Trump will likely factor into this election’s outcome next year.”

Although Donald Trump won the state in the presidential election, the majority of Florida’s registered voters—51 percent—disapprove and only 44 percent approve of the way Trump’s handling his job as president.

Source: University of North Florida COAS Public Opinion Research Laboratory

The University of North Florida poll released today shows a close race for Senator Nelson, who faced easy re-elections in 2006 and 2012, against the current Republican Governor Rick Scott. Mr. Scott had been plagued with negative approval ratings for much of his time as Governor, but won re-election against Charlie Crist in 2014. In the latest UNF survey, his approval rating has improved as he faces the end of his time in office to 46%/40%. Senator Nelson enjoys a positive rating as well, 42%/28%. The State of Florida voted for President Trump by about a percentage point, and his negative ratings in the Sunshine state- 44/51- mirror nationwide opinion polling. UNF’s final poll before the Presidential election found Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by a 43%-39% margin when third party candidates were included.