Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Times / Miami Herald / Bay News 9 poll | U.S. Senate campaign

Sen. Bill Nelson slightly ahead of Rep. Connie Mack IV in U.S. Senate poll

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson holds a narrow lead over his likely Republican challenger, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters prefer Nelson, a Democrat, while 42 percent say they would choose U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Fort Myers Republican and likely GOP nominee. Eleven percent were undecided.

Only 36 percent of respondents like Nelson and 12 percent did not recognize him, a sign the Capitol Hill fixture could lose his seat if Mack steps up his fight.

"Nelson is vulnerable," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, a nonpartisan, Jacksonville-based company that conducted the poll for the Times, Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13. The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the November general election — was conducted July 9-11 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

"Mack has got the name and probably the party behind him, so he could be strong enough to pull it off," Coker said.

Nelson's support traditionally stems from his advocacy of military veterans and the space program, and he's failed to deliver in recent years, Coker said.

But the larger backdrop is an electorate that is dissatisfied with President Barack Obama and with the country's trajectory, the poll reveals.

That sentiment is echoed by Audrey Collette, 77, a retired property manager from Lake Wales, who said she was once excited about Obama but will now vote for a Republican president and senator. She knows little about Mack beyond his name, but thinks he must be better than Nelson.

"I just don't like (Nelson)," she said. "I think he's too much like Barack Obama, and that doesn't excite me."

Retired Pan American employee Frank Berry of Jupiter, a self-described liberal Democrat, said he would support Nelson every day of the week, each minute of the day.

"Connie Mack is a lightweight," he said.

But he acknowledges he doesn't quite know what Nelson has done as U.S. senator.

"On a scale of one to 10, he's a six," Berry said, when asked to rate Nelson's job performance. "He's so low key, he doesn't tout what he's pushed. To tell you the truth, I don't know what he's pushed. What bill did he push? I don't know of any. I don't see Bill Nelson as having a mission, or having anything that he's enthusiastic about."

In a January poll, Nelson was beating Mack 45-42.

Both Nelson and Mack have primary opponents but are favored to win.

Nelson faces little known Glenn A. Burkett, of Naples, who also ran for Senate in 2010.

Running along with Mack in the Republican primary are retired Army Col. Mike McCalister, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon and Naples-area conservative Marielena Stuart.

Times staff writers Katie Sanders and Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report.

Sen. Bill Nelson slightly ahead of Rep. Connie Mack IV in U.S. Senate poll 07/13/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 8:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut

    Blogs

    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview

    Hurricanes

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]