St. Pete Polls: Bill Nelson up 2 on Rick Scott

Rick Scott and Bill Nelson

A new survey from St. Pete Polls shows Florida’s U.S. Senate race still airtight and within the margin of error, with Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson grabbing 49 percent and Republican Gov. Rick Scott 47 percent.

The latest poll, taken Tuesday and Wednesday, shows the same demographic trends that have appeared in surveys throughout the campaign, with Nelson doing better among independent voters, women, voters of color, and younger voters, while Scott’s support is based on white voters, men, and older voters.

It also shows Nelson leading handily among voters who already have cast their ballots. Among those who’ve voted, Nelson leads 53 percent to 45 percent, according to the new St. Pete Poll on Florida’s U.S. Senate race. Scott’s campaign’s hope is based on those who say they still intend to vote; among those, he leads, 50 percent to 45 percent, according to the new survey.

The poll shows an almost three-point swing in Nelson’s direction since the last St. Pete Polls survey of the race, which had Scott up by less than one point on Oct. 22.

The poll was conducted of 2,470 voters interviewed through an automated phone call polling system, with the results weighted to account for proportional differences in demographics of political party, race, age, gender, and media market.

The 2-point advantage for Nelson is the same as the poll’s reported margin of error: 2 percent.

It’s also the same as the running average of recent polls tracked by 2 percent. In the last 10 polls tracked by that organization, including this one and the previous St. Pete Polls survey, Nelson has been leading in seven and Scott in two, with one poll showing an absolute tie.

The overall finding: The race still is too close to call, though it leans toward Nelson.

Among the break-outs, Nelson is leading among independent voters by 50 percent to 45 percent; black voters, 76 to 16; Hispanic voters, 54 to 42; and women, 51 to 45, Nelson also has majorities of support among voters younger than 30 and in the 30-49 age bracket.

Scott leads among white voters by 56 percent to 42 percent; leads among men, 50 to 47; has a slight lead among voters in the 50-69 age bracket, and a solid majority among voters age 70 or older.

Each candidate is receiving 79 percent support within his own party.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


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