A new CBS News poll has given Republican Governor Rick Scott his largest lead to date in his effort to unseat Democrat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. The survey, taken among Likely Voters in Florida, gives Scott a 46-41 lead over Nelson. That’s outside the margin and error and casts doubt on a survey released late last week by a Democrat-leaning polling firm showing Nelson with a 2-point lead.
The RealClear Politics average of all polls shows Nelson with a 1.4% lead. The CBS News poll isn’t included in that average, and Scott is leading in the three most recent public polls.
Scott maintains a two-point lead in the poll when it includes Registered Voters, a group of less reliable voters.
The survey is good news for Governor Scott who has drastically outspent Nelson and spent a great deal of time campaigning throughout the state. It wasn’t until this past week that Nelson seemed to find his campaign footing when speaking out against President Trump’s now-reversed policy of separating children from their parents who were caught attempting to illegally enter the United States.
The CBS News poll contains even more positive news for the two-term GOP governor. It shows Scott with a 62% approval rating among the Democrats, Independents and Republicans surveyed. That’s 10% higher than President Trump (52%) and eight points higher than Nelson (54%).
The race is certain to tighten as Nelson’s campaign and political committees backing him ramp-up their TV advertisements.
Other takeaways from the CBS News Battleground Tracker:
- By a margin of 57 to 43, Floridians disapprove of the policy of separating children from the parents of illegal immigrants.
- 40% believe immigrants from Mexico and Latin America have made life worse in Florida, while 36% say there’s been no impact and 24% say better.
- 71% rate their local economy is good
- 64% believe the biggest issue in the upcoming midterm elections is safety and security of the country with the economy at 63%