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Bill Nelson, Favored by Independents, Maintains Lead Over Rick Scott: Poll

Scott's campaign also released an internal poll. However, it showed Scott with the lead

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has maintained his lead in the Florida Senate electoral race ahead of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

The poll shows that Nelson has 52 percent of support among likely Florida voters, compared to Scott's 46 percent of support.

Nelson has 59 percent of support from women, compared to Scott's 39 percent, while 54 percent of men support Scott as opposed to Nelson's 44 percent, according to the poll.

Scott has 53 percent of support from white voters, compared to Nelson's 44 percent. Nelson has the support of 94 percent of black voters, while Scott has 3 percent of their support.

Nelson has 59 percent of support from Hispanic voters, compared to Scott's 39 percent.

Among those polled, 96 percent who named a candidate said their mind is made up.

"The Florida race is one of a handful of contests around the country that will decide control of the U.S. Senate," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. "Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott have spent so many millions of dollars on television ads it is almost impossible to avoid seeing them."

Along party lines, Republicans support Scott 89 percent to Nelson's 9 percent, and Democrats support Nelson 93 percent to Scott's 6 percent. Independent voters support Nelson 60 percent to Scott's 38 percent.

Those polled gave Nelson a 51 percent to 41 percent favorability rating. Scott received a negative favorability rating of 45 percent to 50 percent.

"At this point, Sen. Nelson's six-point overall lead is built on his large margin among independent voters, 60 - 38 percent. If that margin holds up, the senator will be difficult to beat. Moreover, Sen. Nelson's 20-point advantage among women is twice Gov. Scott's 10-point edge among men," Brown added. "Nelson is just better liked. Florida likely voters view him favorably by 10 percentage points, and see Gov. Scott unfavorably by five points."

Florida likely voters gave President Donald Trump a negative job approval rating of 46 percent.

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, surveyed 1,161 Florida likely voters from Wednesday to Sunday.

SCOTT CAMPAIGN POLL

The Scott campaign on Monday released an internal poll that shows Scott leading Nelson with 51 percent of support to Nelson's 46 percent. The lead is outside of the poll's margin of error of 2.09 percentage points.

The poll, conducted by OnMessage Inc., polled 2,200 Florida likely voters from Oct 14 until Oct. 18.

Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and is Florida's only statewide elected Democrat. Scott was first elected amid the Tea Party movement in 2010 but has flipped on some of his hardline positions, including immigration.

Term limits prohibit Scott from seeking a third term as the governor of Florida.

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