Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Q Poll: Nelson barely leads Scott for Senate, Florida voters prefer a Democrat for governor

The candidates for governor are virtually unknown to Florida voters, the poll shows
Sen. Bill Nelson is gearing up for a race against. Gov. Rick Scott.
Sen. Bill Nelson is gearing up for a race against. Gov. Rick Scott.
Published Feb. 27, 2018

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson holds a narrow lead over Republican Gov. Rick Scott for U.S. Senate, according to a newly released poll. Meanwhile, voters know next to nothing about the candidates running in the wide open governor's race, but overall prefer to see a Democrat elected as Florida's next governor.

Nelson leads Scott  46 percent to 42 percent, within the margin of error, and among independent voters 46 to 33,according to the Feb. 23 t0 26  Quinnipiac University Poll.

At the same time, 49 percent approve of Scott performance as governor –better than Quinnipiac has ever found — and 40 percent disapprove. Florida voters approve 48 to 34 percent of the way Nelson is doing his job. Independent voters approve  48 to 31 percent, compared to 44 percent to 43 for Scott.

"Florida's Senate race features probably the two best-known politicians in the Sunshine State. A race between two-term Gov. Rick Scott and four-term incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson makes this unusual in that most voters probably already have made up their minds," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"The race is close, but Nelson's double-digit-lead with independents puts him in slightly better shape eight months from Election Day. This election is likely to be decided by turnout."

In the governor's race, the poll shows how remarkably little known the crowded fields are on both sides:

**84 percent don't know enough about former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham to form an opinion of her.

**81 percent don't know enough about former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine

**89 percent don't know enough about Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

**93 percent don't know enough about business executive Chris King.

**75 percent don't know enough about State Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

**83 percent don't know enough about U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

**86 percent don't know enough about Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

"Florida voters can expect massive – and probably nasty – TV advertising as the candidates for governor try to introduce themselves, and their opponents, to the electorate," Brown said.

More from Quinnipiac: