February 27, 2018 - Nelson On Plus Side Of Close Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Trump, Rubio Have Big Negative Scores, Scott Is Positive Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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The U.S. Senate campaign in Florida is a real horse race out of the gate as Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has 46 percent to Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger, with 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

Sen. Nelson leads 46 - 33 percent among independent voters and 87 - 7 percent among Democrats, while Gov. Scott takes Republicans 86 - 7 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

There are wide gender and racial gaps, as men back Scott 49 - 38 percent, while women back Nelson 53 - 35 percent. White voters go Republican 49 - 40 percent. Nelson leads 74 - 15 percent among black voters and 46 - 37 percent among Hispanic voters.

Scott, who has a seven-year history of negative approval ratings, gets a positive 49 - 40 percent score, by far his highest score ever.

Independent voters are divided 44 - 43 percent, as Republicans approve 80 - 11 percent and Democrats disapprove 69 - 23 percent. Men approve 56 - 36 percent, with women divided 43 - 44 percent. Approval is 55 - 37 percent among white voters and 46 - 38 percent among Hispanic voters. Black voters disapprove 60 - 28 percent.

Florida voters approve 48 - 34 percent of the way Nelson is doing his job, consistent with his scores over the last 15 years. Independent voters approve 48 - 31 percent.

"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."

There are huge gender and racial divisions as Florida voters give President Donald Trump a negative 42 - 54 percent approval rating. Men approve 51 - 45 percent, as women disapprove 61 - 35 percent. White voters approve 52 - 44 percent. Disapproval is 87 - 13 percent among black voters and 63 - 30 percent among Hispanic voters.

Republicans approve 81 - 15 percent. Disapproval is 90 - 6 percent among Democrats and 57 - 39 percent among independent voters.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's approval rating is even worse, a negative 38 - 53 percent. Republicans and white men are the only listed party, gender, education, age or racial groups to approve. Sen. Rubio's approval rating among Republicans is a lackluster 65 - 24 percent. Disapproval is 49 - 44 percent among white voters, 63 - 28 percent among black voters and 66 - 27 percent among Hispanic voters.

Governor's Race

In a question which does not name candidates, Florida voters say 45 - 37 percent that they would vote for a Democratic candidate for governor this year. Independent voters go Democratic 39 - 28 percent.

Candidates for governor are virtually unknown to Florida voters:
  • 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.
"In the governor's race, none of the candidates is well-known. 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 added.

From February 23 - 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,156 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts nationwide public opinion surveys, and statewide polls in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bill Nelson the Democrat and Rick Scott the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Nelson               46%     7%    87%    46%    38%    53%    45%    35%
Scott                42     86      7     33     49     35     47     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      -      3      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      4      2      2      2      2
DK/NA                 9      6      4     14      9      9      5     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Nelson               45%    42%    49%    48%    31%    48%    40%    74%    46%
Scott                35     42     43     42     59     41     49     15     37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      1      1      2      1      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      1      2      2      2      2      2      2      2
DK/NA                15     12      5      7      6      8      7      8     12
 
 
2. As you may know, Governor Scott cannot run for governor again due to term limits. Now, thinking about the 2018 election for governor in Florida: If the 2018 election for governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for the Democratic candidate or for the Republican candidate?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Democratic candidate 45%     5%    95%    39%    37%    53%    42%    33%
Republican candidate 37     83      1     28     44     30     44     50
NEITHER(VOL)          3      1      1      7      4      3      3      2
DK/NA                14     11      3     27     15     14     12     15
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Democratic candidate 47%    45%    50%    45%    27%    46%    38%    84%    48%
Republican candidate 28     39     36     38     57     38     47      7     26
NEITHER(VOL)          7      1      2      3      3      2      2      -      7
DK/NA                18     14     11     14     13     14     14     10     18
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              49%    80%    23%    44%    56%    43%    51%    59%
Disapprove           40     11     69     43     36     44     41     32
DK/NA                10     10      8     14      9     12      8     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              43%    45%    51%    52%    65%    46%    55%    28%    46%
Disapprove           39     44     42     39     30     42     37     60     38
DK/NA                18     11      7      9      6     12      9     12     16
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              34%    55%    17%    31%    42%    28%    35%    42%
Disapprove           50     24     70     54     45     54     51     37
DK/NA                16     20     12     15     14     18     14     21
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              34%    39%    36%    28%    48%    30%    38%    29%    28%
Disapprove           46     49     51     53     38     50     44     63     57
DK/NA                20     13     13     19     14     20     17      8     15
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              48%    24%    73%    48%    40%    54%    51%    41%
Disapprove           34     54     16     31     44     25     36     38
DK/NA                18     22     10     22     15     21     12     21
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              47%    39%    51%    52%    38%    53%    46%    61%    45%
Disapprove           18     42     37     34     48     28     37     30     25
DK/NA                35     19     12     14     14     19     17      9     29
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              38%    65%    15%    34%    43%    34%    43%    45%
Disapprove           53     24     79     58     50     57     50     48
DK/NA                 9     10      6      8      8     10      8      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              32%    40%    39%    36%    52%    37%    44%    28%    27%
Disapprove           55     53     53     55     41     55     49     63     66
DK/NA                12      7      7      8      7      8      8      9      7
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              42%    81%     6%    39%    51%    35%    47%    57%
Disapprove           54     15     90     57     45     61     50     39
DK/NA                 4      4      4      3      3      4      3      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              31%    43%    44%    44%    64%    42%    52%    13%    30%
Disapprove           65     51     54     53     33     54     44     87     63
DK/NA                 4      6      2      4      3      4      3      -      7
 
 
8. If a candidate for United States Senator supports President Trump, does that make you more likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them, or doesn't it have an impact either way?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          23%    48%     4%    16%    27%    19%    27%    29%
Less likely          42      8     76     43     33     50     43     32
No impact            34     42     20     41     38     31     29     38
DK/NA                 1      2      1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
More likely          14%    18%    24%    28%    33%    23%    28%     8%    14%
Less likely          49     39     42     44     29     45     38     56     49
No impact            37     42     33     26     37     31     33     35     36
DK/NA                 -      1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
9. If a candidate for governor supports President Trump, does that make you more likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them, or doesn't it have an impact either way?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          22%    48%     4%    14%    25%    20%    25%    29%
Less likely          42      7     77     42     34     50     43     31
No impact            34     43     18     42     40     29     31     38
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      2      2      1      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
More likely          13%    16%    25%    27%    30%    25%    27%     6%    15%
Less likely          47     38     42     45     28     44     37     62     46
No impact            39     44     31     25     40     30     35     29     37
DK/NA                 1      2      2      2      1      1      1      3      2
 
 
10. Is your opinion of Gwen Graham favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            10%     5%    20%     7%     8%    12%    14%     6%
Unfavorable           5      7      3      5      8      3      4      4
Hvn't hrd enough     84     86     76     88     83     84     81     89
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      2      -      1      -
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable             6%     9%    12%    14%     8%    12%    10%    15%     9%
Unfavorable           9      5      4      4      6      2      4      2     10
Hvn't hrd enough     84     85     83     81     85     86     85     83     79
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      -      1      -      2
 
 
11. Is your opinion of Philip Levine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            12%     7%    20%     9%     9%    14%    15%    11%
Unfavorable           7     10      2      9      9      5      6      6
Hvn't hrd enough     81     83     78     81     82     80     79     82
REFUSED               1      -      -      1      1      1      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable             3%     8%    18%    14%    10%    15%    13%    14%     8%
Unfavorable           9      9      5      6      7      5      6      4     10
Hvn't hrd enough     88     83     76     79     82     79     80     81     82
REFUSED               -      -      1      1      1      -      1      1      -
 
 
12. Is your opinion of Andrew Gillum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable             7%     2%    12%     6%     6%     7%     8%     5%
Unfavorable           3      3      4      3      4      3      3      2
Hvn't hrd enough     89     94     84     90     89     90     89     93
REFUSED               1      2      -      -      1      -      -      -
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable            12%     6%     7%     6%     6%     8%     7%    11%     4%
Unfavorable           5      3      4      3      3      2      2      5      5
Hvn't hrd enough     83     91     89     91     91     90     91     83     90
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      1      -      -      -      -
 
 
13. Is your opinion of Chris King favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable             3%     3%     3%     3%     3%     3%     2%     2%
Unfavorable           3      2      5      3      4      3      2      2
Hvn't hrd enough     93     94     92     93     93     94     96     95
REFUSED               -      -      -      1      1      -      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable             6%     3%     2%     1%     1%     2%     2%     3%     7%
Unfavorable           4      4      5      2      3      2      2      5      5
Hvn't hrd enough     90     93     92     96     95     96     96     91     88
REFUSED               -      -      1      1      1      -      -      -      1
 
 
14. Is your opinion of Adam Putnam favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            15%    23%     7%    13%    19%    11%    19%    16%
Unfavorable          10      3     14     13     11      9     10      7
Hvn't hrd enough     75     73     77     73     70     79     69     75
REFUSED               1      1      2      -      -      1      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable            12%    15%    15%    17%    24%    12%    18%     6%     9%
Unfavorable          11     11     10     10      9      8      9     13     14
Hvn't hrd enough     77     74     73     73     66     77     72     81     77
REFUSED               -      1      2      1      -      2      1      -      -
 
 
15. Is your opinion of Ron DeSantis favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            11%    22%     4%     9%    14%     9%    13%    15%
Unfavorable           6      3      7      6      6      5      8      4
Hvn't hrd enough     83     75     89     84     80     86     79     81
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable             5%     9%    10%    16%    17%    12%    14%     6%     5%
Unfavorable           5      3      6      8      7      5      6      5      4
Hvn't hrd enough     91     88     83     75     76     83     80     89     92
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
16. Is your opinion of Richard Corcoran favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable             4%     6%     2%     5%     5%     3%     4%     4%
Unfavorable           9      7     11     10     10      8     14      6
Hvn't hrd enough     86     85     87     85     84     89     82     90
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      1      -      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable             3%     4%     3%     5%     5%     3%     4%     4%     4%
Unfavorable           8      7     10     10     10      9     10      5      8
Hvn't hrd enough     88     89     86     84     84     87     86     91     88
REFUSED               -      -      1      1      1      -      1      -      1
 
 
18. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Florida today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very satisfied       11%    21%     3%     8%    13%     9%    14%    12%
Smwht satisfied      44     62     28     41     49     38     40     54
Smwht dissatisfied   26     12     36     30     22     29     26     19
Very dissatisfied    18      4     32     18     14     22     19     14
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      1      1      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Very satisfied        5%    10%    11%    15%    16%    11%    13%     7%     7%
Smwht satisfied      42     48     42     41     53     42     47     39     36
Smwht dissatisfied   28     26     27     24     18     26     22     31     33
Very dissatisfied    22     16     20     18     11     20     16     23     22
DK/NA                 3      -      -      2      1      1      1      1      2