Poll: Gov. Rick Scott Competitive Against Sen. Bill Nelson In 2018

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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A new poll from the Morning Consult shows Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reason to worry about a possible challenge in 2018 from the state’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

According to the January to March survey of 8,793 Florida voters, Gov. Scott has a 57 percent approval rating. That number is 8 points higher from a poll released last September showing Scott with a 49 percent approval rating.

Although Nelson has a 53 percent approval rating in the same survey, his name identification does not go very far with voters in the Sunshine State. Over one in Florida five voters don’t know enough about Nelson, a three-term senator, to have an opinion on him.

The Tampa Bay Times notes that should Scott decide to run against Nelson, he will be better funded for his campaign than Nelson’s previous Republican challengers Connie Mack IV and Katharine Harris.

“Both Senator Nelson and Governor Scott have relatively strong approval ratings,” said Morning Consult’s Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “However, if Scott enters the race he will immediately have a valuable leg-up in terms of name ID. More than a fifth (21 percent) of Florida voters aren’t familiar with Nelson, compared to just 7 percent for Scott.”

A previous poll conducted by St. Leo University back in March showed Scott just behind Nelson but within the survey’s margin of error among Florida voters. The St. Leo poll also showed that Florida voters did not support a Democratic filibuster against Justice Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation.

Nelson, however, threw in with his Democratic colleagues on the filibuster against Gorsuch. Nelson dismissed the St. Leo polls telling The Daily Caller it was just “an outlier.”

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