Scott vs. Nelson: Polls Show Florida Senate Race Tied

Bill Nelson Rick Scott

Getty Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott.

The Florida Senate race is a statistical tie with just over two weeks to go until the midterm elections. Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is up against Republican Rick Scott, the current governor. Two recent polls reveal that the race is still essentially a toss-up.

CNN released a poll on Sunday, October 22, that shows Senator Nelson with an edge over Scott. The poll was conducted by independent research company SSRS. Phone interviews with registered voters and likely voters were conducted October 16-20. The margin of error is +/-3.6 points.

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The poll showed that both groups, registered and likely voters, slightly favored Senator Nelson. Participants were asked: “If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Bill Nelson, the Democrat, and Rick Scott, the Republican, who would you be more likely to vote for?” In both groups, 45 percent of voters said they favored Rick Scott. Bill Nelson received 49 percent support among registered voters and 50 percent from the likely voters. It’s important to remember the the margin of error and the percentage of participants who said they had not made up their minds; the race could actually be much closer than this poll shows.

SSRS: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Bill Nelson, the Democrat, and Rick Scott, the Republican, who would you be more likely to vote for? [10/16/18 to 10/20/18]

Bill Nelson 50%
Rick Scott 45%
None of the Above/No Opinion 4%

The CNN poll conducted by SSRS also showed that a large number of Florida voters have not yet made up their minds. 11 percent of likely voters said they could still change their mind between now and November 6. 86 percent have chosen their candidate and plan to stick by that decision.

SSRS: Among likely voters: Is your mind made up about who you will vote for, or is it possible you would change your mind? [10/16/18 to 10/20/18]

Mind Made Up 86%
Might Change Mind 11%
No Opinion 3%

A separate poll for FloridaPolitics.com went the other direction, showing Rick Scott a two-point. But the lead is within the poll’s margin of error, meaning it’s a statistical tie. This poll was conducted October 15-16 through an automated phone calling service. The respondents all said they were likely to vote on November 6.

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Among total voters, 48.6 percent said they supported Rick Scott for the Senate seat. 47.2 percent preferred Bill Nelson. 4.2 percent were undecided. One important point worth mentioning is that nearly half of those respondents reported that they had already cast their ballots. (You can see the poll in full embedded above or here).

St. Pete Polls: In the race for U.S. Senate, who would you vote for: Republican Rick Scott or Democrat Bill Nelson? [10/15/18 to 10/16/18]

Rick Scott 48.6%
Bill Nelson 47.2%
Undecided 4.2%

61 percent of voters responded that they approved of Governor Rick Scott’s handling of recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael. That could potentially sway undecided voters in Scott’s favor.

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