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NBC/Marist poll: Democrats inch ahead in U.S. Senate, Governor’s races

Bill Nelson leads Gov. Rick Scott by 3 points, and Andrew Gillum leads Ron DeSantis by 5.
Democrat Andrew Gillum (left) faces Republican Ron DeSantis (right) in the 2018 contest for Florida governor. [Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald | AP Photo/John Raoux]
Democrat Andrew Gillum (left) faces Republican Ron DeSantis (right) in the 2018 contest for Florida governor. [Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald | AP Photo/John Raoux]
Published Sep. 25, 2018
Updated Sep. 25, 2018

A new poll by NBC/Marist should have Democrats feeling good about their prospects in November.

The survey, which asked 600 likely voters between Sept. 16 and Sept. 20 about their preferred candidate, had Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson leading Gov. Rick Scott in the race for one of Florida's U.S. Senate seats by 3 points, 48 percent to 45 percent. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum leads Republican Ron DeSantis 48 percent to 43 percent, according to the poll.

"The political environment in Florida, overall, is tipping in the Democrats favor," Lee Miringoff, who directs the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in an NBC story about the poll.

Both Scott and DeSantis are within the five-point margin of error, so the polls are statistical ties. Still, the surveys are good results for both Nelson — who's polled neck-and-neck with Scott for months — and Gillum — who's consistently polled ahead of DeSantis.

Both polls showed the Democrats handily winning key voter demographics. Nelson leads Scott among hispanic voters by 20 points; Gillum leads DeSantis by 14 points among those voters. Nelson is winning independent voters by 16 points; Gillum leads among independents by 13 points.

Nelson and Gillum are doing even better among the 829 registered voters surveyed. Nelson leads Scott by five points among those voters and Gillum leads DeSantis by eight points.

A Quinnipiac survey also had Nelson leading Scott Tuesday, by seven points.

If Democrats can replicate those numbers in November, they might be in for a good election day.