This is actually a pretty big story. Democrat Bill Nelson has won just about every election he's been in -- in Florida since 1972. His last 3 Senate elections, he easily defeated Republicans Bill McCollum by 5 points (2000), Katherine Harris by 22 points (2006) and Connie Mack by 13 points (2012). The fact that Gov. Rick Scott is in a statistical dead heat with a longtime, popular incumbent is a major story. This would be a much needed Republican pickup that nobody saw coming. It's still very early and whether or not this is an outlier remains to bee seen. There also happens to be 20% of voters in this survey who are undecided. The other big factor is, Gov. Rick Scott, who is term-limited, has not officially announced a bid for Florida Senate.
A new poll finds that Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) would be in a close race with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) if Scott decides to mount a Senate bid in 2018.
According to the University of North Florida (UNF) poll, Nelson has a 1-percentage point lead over Scott, 37 to 36 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error. Twenty percent of registered voters are undecided.
“Like most statewide races in Florida, the Senate race between Nelson and Scott is going to be too close to call all the way until Election Day,” said Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF.
Pollsters found that 59 percent of Florida voters say they either strongly or somewhat approve of the job Scott is doing. But the governor, who’s been publicly encouraged to run for Senate by President Trump, has come under fire from Democrats over his response to the 14 people who died at a Florida nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Nelson, meanwhile, has an approval rating of 35 percent, with 15 percent who disapprove of the senator's performance. But nearly half of voters “don’t know how he’s handling his job as senator.