Fresh poll: Rick Scott maintains edge over Bill Nelson


A new poll commissioned by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows Republican Gov. Rick Scott with a 3-point lead in his bid to knock incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson out of office.

The poll, conducted by Cherry Communications, put Scott ahead 48-45 with 5 percent undecided (Florida Politics has asked the poll’s sponsors why these numbers do not add up to 100).

That margin tracks with a May poll out of Florida Atlantic University that found Scott up 4 points, however undecided voters made up a much higher share in that poll. Those results put the race at 44-40 with 16 percent unsure.

The Florida Chamber, which has both endorsed Scott and put some cash behind ads bashing Nelson, attributed the lead to the second-term governor’s strong support among likely Republican voters and an even split among third- and no-party voters.

The party breakdown showed 86 percent of likely Republican voters would vote for Scott in the fall while 9 percent said Nelson was their pick. Likely Democratic voters were only slightly less unified, picking Nelson 80-13. The pair both had 44 percent support among NPA and third-party voters.

That performance among independent voters was attributable to their feelings on the state economy and the Republican Party platform, the group asserted.

“The problem Democrats will have is that NPAs agree with Republicans that the economy and Florida is on the right track, AND they believe Republicans are more aligned with their views,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson in a memo (obtained by Florida Politics) which shares the poll’s findings with Chamber members. “There’s really no other credible way to view this than to give credit to Governor Scott for his relentless focus on jobs and economic opportunity.”

The live interview phone poll was conducted May 25 through June 4. It took responses from 249 Democrats, 237 Republicans and 119 other party or NPA voters and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent.

The poll assumed half of the state’s 12.9 million registered voters to show up at the polls Nov. 6. That would be similar to 2014, the last midterm election, when 51 percent of voters cast a general election ballot.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Mick

    June 9, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Let’s see…. Governor Voldemort did well in a poll bought and paid for by one of his donors (handlers). Who saw that coming?

    • Mark

      June 10, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      That’s not really accurate. The poll hired a group that has nothing to do with Scott to conduct the poll, Cherry Communications. They only ordered that the poll be made; they themselves didn’t conduct the poll. Read a little more carefully next time. That’s the reason Real Clear Politics allowed the poll to be listed in their average.

      • Kerry Browne

        June 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        …but the poll partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a conservative group. RealClearPolitics doesn’t exclude partisan polls, especially when polling isn’t in abundance. The previous poll is like a month old, so for them it’s better than nothing even though it’s misleading.

        • Mark

          June 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm

          Commissioned means someone ordered it… Conducted means someone actually did the poll. The Florida Chamber of Commerce commissioned it and Cherry Communications conducted it. That means the Florida Chamber of Commerce ordered a poll to be made by Cherry Communications. Cherry Communications is not Republican aligned, to my knowledge.

    • DougW

      June 10, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      That’s Rick “You get a gun….. and YOU get a gun…. YOU ALL GET A GUN! No background check even needed!” Scott?

      • Mark

        June 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        As opposed to the perversion pushing crossdressing baby killing democrats who think that schools are safer from mass shooters when they’re armed with nothing?

      • Chris

        June 11, 2018 at 11:16 pm

        Hey Doug, come to my house —- see if I own a gun ?!?!?

        The criminal will always own a gun…. wise up —- Don’t talk like an idiot !!!

        I guarantee you… if a criminal breaks into YOUR house and threatens YOU & your idiot family, you also will BEG TO OWN A GUNNNNNNNNN !!!!

        Try not to talk out of your ass —– use the other end !!!!!!!

  • Christopher M. Kennard

    June 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    This would appear to me to be Senator Bill Nelson’s election to lose, yet so very easy to win! Particularly when Florida citizens continue to see their liberty and civil rights under threat of further erosion specifically engineered by Florida Governor Rick Scott, his opponet for the U. S. Senate seat Bill Nelson has occuppied for so long.

    It is why the FLORIDIANS FOR FREEDOM, a non-partisan group of volunteer Florida residents have stepped up to the homeplate to restore civil rights we have all lost due to the state prohibition of “marijuana” — by proposing a fully legal cannabis constitutional amendment, RIGHT OF ADULTS TO CANNABIS [Initiative Serial # 15-20] ballot initiative petition that you can print out from our website,, to read and if you agree, to sign and mail back to us.

    This last week, Gov. Scott just shot himself in . . . well, somewhere not very pleasant to comtemplate, by having continuously opposed the will of the 71% majority of Florida citizens who voted to approve the 2016 MEDICAL MARIJUANA constitutional amendment ballot initiative and now spending tens of thousands of Florida voter’s tax dollars to continue this immoral fight to oppose patients being able to smoke cannabis, despite the medical evidence supporting such medicinal use for those suffering from ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, etc. along with strong voter support developing for full legal cannabis for adults over the age of twenty-one in Florida.

    Connect this denial of the right of patients to use cannabis to one of the first of Gov. Scott’s actions when elected to public office, and that was to take the right to vote away from people who may not vote for him or people of his character, using the excuse that they are dangerous “felons” . . . even those convicted of cannabis violations, such as possession, use or growing their own cannabis. In fact, Scott cut off the right of all felons in Florida to be able to vote ever again, in most cases. Recently, this was found to be an unconstitutional violation of Floridians civil rights by Scott, adversely impacting hundreds of thousands of people who were not allowed to vote for the eight years he was governor.

    There is a connection between restoring most felon’s right to vote again and restoring the civil rights and liberties we all lost when the immoral prohibition of “marijuana” became federal law. It is why we have initiated a Florida Cannabis Civil Rights Coalition to wage a statewide campaign to address a number of impacted issues related to legalizing cannabis.

    Where is Senator Bill Nelson on legalizing cannabis, by permitting the voters, state by state where they live, to decide the issue of whether to approve legal cannabis or not.

    Unfortunately, Bill Nelson may have gone to sleep at the wheel of a U. S. Senate going over the cliff’s edge . . . . At least with Scott, we can guess that he may have too much money invested in pharmaceutical stock to want to see drug companies lose money because of the safer, more widely applicable theraputic uses of cannabis that not only helps to stop pain and suffering, but can promote healing, and even possibly cure cancer according to recent research and medical evidence. But where and why is Bill Nelson on this issue?

    Does Senator Bill Nelson know that Cathy Jordan who has ALS (and her husband, Bill Jordan) testified as one of the two primary witnesses in the Florida State court case that verified patients and their physicians do have the constitutional right to medically treat their illness or affliction, including smoking cannabis ?

    Does Senator Bill Nelson (and other Democratic candidates campaigning for elective public office) know that Cathy and Bill Jordan helped to start the non-partisan movement of Florida voters called the FLORIDIANS FOR FREEDOM (FFF) ?

    Do Democratic party leaders and elected public officials recall their own 2016 presidential party platform to follow the path to legalization of cannabis? Why so quiet on this issue, when on the local level, people are campaigning for public office to legalize cannabis in Florida and all around the country. Where are you?

    FLORIDIANS FOR FREEDOM is a determined group following up on their organizing work performed over the years to approve legal cannnabis use for adults. We know it is up to the voters in Florida to accomplish this goal. For years Cathy and Bob Jordan, along with others, provided the Florida Legislature with medicinal marijuana studies verifying the tremendous value of cannabis use, only to always be told “NO” by most of the inept, unresponsive or outright corrupt state politicians in the State Legislature. Amazingly, these politicians continue to fight tooth and nail to defeat their own constituent’s recently approved MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT but to fail to do so! It’s a sign of the times.

    FLORIDIANS FOR FREEDOM are collecting signed ballot initiative petitions from registered Florida voters for a new state constitutional amendment, providing the right of adults in Florida over the age of twenty-one to possess, use and cultivate cannabis for personal use, on private property . . . even within your own home and backyard garden!

    The RIGHT OF ADULTS TO CANNABIS [Initiative Serial # 15-20] follows the same route as other constitutional amendments, whereby a majority of Florida voters can bypass inactive, inept or unwilling politicians to create our own laws which we agree to and under which we shall live, here in Florida.

    We are currently collecting signed petitions from voters in all 67 counties of Florida, and set up FACEBOOK pages for each county group of Floridians For Freedom (FFF) to contact other legal cannabis supporters who have joined our Cannabis Civil Rights Campaign of 2018-2020 to end the prohibition of cannabis and the harm it causes within the State of Florida.

    Type in the name of your county, followed by our group name, FFF. (Example: Alachua Floridians For Freedom on Facebook).

    This ought to be an interesting period of local, state and national elections between 2018 and 2020, as we wage a people’s peaceful “political revolution” to create better laws and to sweep out the corrupt, inept or unresponsive politicians as we elect new people who are honest, have retained their personal, professional and political integrity and will fully represent the people of our nation.

    • Patricia Silverman

      June 9, 2018 at 10:24 am

      to bad there is no way to share this.

    • Joe webb

      June 11, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Get over it, loser. Smoking dope is not a civil right. The founding fathers whipped people for smoking pot, Gilligan.

      • Patrica

        June 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        stop with the lies they had to grow it just like George did at Mount Vernon stop the propaganda

    • Mark

      June 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      As soon as you talked about how we’re losing liberty because we can’t get high on marijuana I lost all respect for you. Do you realize how much of an ignoramus you look like? We have more important things in this world to worry about than your ability to let one burn.

  • Ocean Joe

    June 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Dirty Rick, I hear limbo music….how LOW will you go?

  • Michael Petit

    June 10, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Can’t put much stock in a poll whose sponsors can’t add. 48 to 43% is not 3%. We can add and substract here Down Under. M Petit, Melbourne, Australia

  • Patrica

    June 10, 2018 at 8:41 am

    simply put Rick Scott has demonstrated that he does not care about the will of Floridians, he allowed the legislature to write rules that violate the amendment and then he appeals a ruling that in fact tells him what was done was unconstitutional. this man ignores the will of 6.5 Million Florida voters and it is my hope that those self same 6.5 million voters will remember his behavior and vote him out of office he has no business in politics ignoring the electoriate

    • Mark

      June 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      To violate the amendment? Which amendment? Is this your brain working at full capacity?

  • Mark

    June 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Is there some kind of pdf for this? Also, but wait, 48% to 43% is a 5 point difference, not 3. For some reason, you said there’s a 3 point difference, which doesn’t make sense. I hope Scott wins, and this poll only confirms previous polls showing him with a lead, like you point out, but you need to do some editing. Also, notify Real Clear Politics, because they copied your mistake.

  • Lee Brooks

    June 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Rather curious on why they would use the same turnout model in 2018 that happened in 2014. That really defies historical common sense as in 2014 the dems occupied the WH and therefore turnout model will favor the party not in power. On the surface it seems like an extremely poor methodology and whoever actually commissioned the poll should be asking for their money back…

  • Kerry Browne

    June 10, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Some things you should know about this poll.

    The poll is politically biased: The Florida Chamber of Commerce is a partisan organization, having endorsed 25 Republicans in the Florida Senate to the 3 Democrats and 69 Republicans and 9 Democrats. (

    That this “tracks” with the Florida Atlantic poll is kind of meaningless. The Florida Atlantic poll is a C+ poll and didn’t call the race as accurately as other recent polls can be seen from RealClearPolitics. (RealClearPolitics list of Florida US Senate Polls:

    All of the polls that put Scott in the lead are lower-quality polls, all the of the polls that put Nelson in the lead are of higher-quality, according to FiveThirtyEight, a national, non-partisan polling aggregator.

    (FiveThirtyEight poll ratings:

    • Austin

      June 11, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Let’s go through all the polls so we can play your game
      Florida Chamber of Commerce used Cherry Communications for this poll
      Leader: Scott. Pollster: Cherry Communications: Grade: B-
      Leader: Scott. Pollster: Florida Atlantic University: Grade: C+
      Leader: Nelson. Pollster: PPP (D): Grade: B
      Leader: Nelson. Pollster: Gravis: Grade: C+
      Leader: Scott. POllster: McLaughlin&Asso.: Grade: C-
      Leader: Scott: Pollster: Clearview Research: Grade:N/A
      Leader: Nelson: Pollster: SurveryMonkey: Grade: D-

      So looking at the last 7 polls, we see that neither group has better polls. Nelson has a Democratic funded (B)-rated poll from the last few months, and Scott has a Republican funded (B-)-rated poll. Both have bad polls

      The only good poll released was from Quinnipiac, which has an A- grade. It gave Nelson the lead, but that was back in February, so that is not reliable at this time.

      • Patrica

        June 11, 2018 at 11:37 am

        Scott ignores the 6.5 Million Voters and he needs to be voted out

      • Kerry Browne

        June 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm

        If you read any of this comment, anyone, know that Austin is lying: Scott has only lead in two polls, one of which was partisan. This is the link to the poll list from Real clear politics: Please look at the link and ignore his list, or just go to RealClearPolitics website and find the polls yourself if you don’t trust me.

        Second, Austin is also lying about the partisan poll for Nelson. The other polls are from the University of North Florida. Mason-Dixon, Gravis and Quinnipiac. Afaik, university don’t do partisan polls ever and I didn’t see in their documents any indication that they were. Gravis actually has a Republican bias, too. Mason-Dixon is an independent org.

        Third, the two polls that have Scott in the lead do not reveal their methodology, only some details of it. In general, you should be more cautious of polls that don’t disclose their methodology.

        Fourth, I didn’t say the FL Chamber of Commerce conducted the poll, and you can’t just dismiss that Cherry Communications “were used” for the poll. The FL Chamber of Commerce is a conservative organization, and funding bias is real (

        Fifth, in addition to lying about how “is leading”, Austin left out margins to further sow false equivalency. Scott has never had a lead according to those polls higher than 4, but Nelson’s was once as high as +6.

        Sixth, that Quinnipiac poll was conducted at the very end of February, so it’s not as old as you are implying. Moreover, a poll’s reliability is relative: If the polling that followed it isn’t of comparable quality, you can’t just dismiss it. We ignore Rasmussen polls on the president even though their frequent because their obviously biased as they’re consistent 6-7 points higher in favorability than the others.

        Finally, non-partisan poll that favors Scott, Florida Atlantic, used robopolls and online panels, which have a track record of favoring republicans


        I’m not saying Nelson is definitely leading; this race is pretty close. I’m saying the evidence that Scott is in the lead simply isn’t there.

        And some people are keen on lying about it.

      • Kerry Browne

        June 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm

        Anyone reading Austin’s comment should know he is lying about those polls, as Scott has only lead in two polls, not four. If you can’t be bothered to use or trust my link, (, please go to RealClearPolitics and see for yourself. Select the Polls link, then Senate Polls, then Florida Senate – Nelson v. Scott. That will give you the full list.

        Scott has only lead in two polls: the Cherry Communications poll done with conservative org FL Chamber of Commerce and Florida Atlantic, which uses automated polls/online panels, which get lower response rates and have a Republican bias.

        • Kerry Browne

          June 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

          And that’s not even covering the four-five other things he got wrong.

  • PL

    June 11, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Is there an error in the margin or the percentages?

  • Elizabeth Eytchison

    June 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Rick be careful the groups for legalization are voting nelson,don’t let this happen there are to many values to worry about then to vote on one item. Vote Rick Scott !!

  • Chris

    June 11, 2018 at 11:19 pm




    TRUMP 2020 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Koener

    June 18, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I’m a Trump loving Republican, but I’d rather have lazy potato Bill Nelson than scumbag Rick Nelson as senator for six years. He already screwed us farmers for 8 years. I’d rather have Hillary as senator any day than this POS. Scott will not get the vote in my rural region!!!

Comments are closed.


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