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Poll: Florida’s U.S. Senate race back to one point gap

A new poll from Public Policy Polling puts Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson back up by one point over Republican Gov. Rick Scott, putting Florida’s Senate race back in the dead-heat category.

Polling in the contest generally has pendulumed a few points in favor of either since the race began in earnest in the spring. The new PPP Poll, commissioned by EDGE Communications as the first of the general election campaign season, sets them at one point apart:

Nelson 46, Scott 45, with eight percent of Florida voters undecided.

PPP surveyed 743 Florida voters on Wednesday and Thursday, to set a baseline coming out of Tuesday’s partisan primaries.

The poll finds independent voters with essentially the same preference for the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race as they show for Democrats Andrew Gillum and Sean Shaw in the Florida gubernatorial and attorney general races.

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Independent voters are preferring Nelson by 56 percent to 36 percent over Scott, with only seven percent of independent voters undecided, in PPP’s poll.

Scott makes up most of that disadvantage by attracting more party loyalty than Nelson enjoys. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans are ready to vote for Scott, and 12 percent of them for Nelson; while 76 percent of Democrats are ready to vote for Nelson, and 15 percent for Scott, according to survey.

The same poll also gives President Donald Trump an approval rating of 46 percent and a disapproval rating of 49 percent.

Independents voters’ views of Trump follows the same pattern as their picks in the Senate race: 38 percent find Trump favorable, and 51 percent unfavorable.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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