September 5, 2018 - Dead Heat In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Nelson, Scott Have Matching Grades, But Rubio Is Down Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Florida Gov. Rick Scott are locked in a 49 - 49 percent dead heat among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race in the Sunshine State, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

The gender gap is a mirror image as men back Gov. Scott 53 - 45 percent, while women back Sen. Nelson 53 - 45 percent. This is the first survey of likely voters in this race by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll, and can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.

White voters back Scott 55 - 44 percent, as black voters back Nelson 90 - 5 percent. Hispanic voters go Republican 59 - 39 percent.

Nelson leads 89 - 8 percent among Democrats and 56 - 43 percent among independent voters. Scott leads 92 - 7 percent among Republicans.

Among Florida likely voters who have named a U.S. Senate candidate, 92 percent say their mind is made up.

Voters approve 49 - 43 percent of the job Nelson is doing as a U.S. Senator and give him a 48 - 42 percent favorability rating.

Voters approve 51 - 46 percent of the job Scott is doing as governor and give him a divided 49 - 47 percent favorability rating.

"The Florida Senate race, one of the most important this election year, is a dead heat," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Sen. Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, faces the most difficult challenge of his long political career. He is locked in a 49 - 49 percent contest with Republican Rick Scott, Florida's governor."

"The campaign is a prototype of our nation's political environment: Democrat Nelson carries women and black voters, while Republican Scott wins among men and white voters. The key in close elections like this one often lies with independent voters. So far, Sen. Nelson has the edge with this swing group. The candidate who holds those voters in November is likely to win," Brown added.

President Donald Trump is not an important factor in their choice of a U.S. Senator, 46 percent of Florida likely voters say, while 26 percent say their Senate vote is mainly to support the president and 25 percent say their vote is mainly in opposition to Trump.

While he is not on the ballot in 2018, only 44 percent of Florida likely voters approve of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, while 47 percent disapprove.

From August 30 - September 3, Quinnipiac University surveyed 785 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 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, Colorado and Texas 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.

4. 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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Bill Nelson the Democrat or more toward Rick Scott the Republican?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Nelson               49%     7%    89%    56%    45%    53%    48%    40%
Scott                49     92      8     43     53     45     51     58
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 2      1      3      1      2      2      1      1
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Nelson               37%    50%    44%    90%    39%
Scott                62     48     55      5     59
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 -      2      1      5      2
 
 
4a. (If candidate chosen q4) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                    
                     LIKELY VOTERS................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q4..........
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q4
                     Tot    Nelson        Scott
 
Mind made up         92%    92%           92%
Might change          8      7             8
DK/NA                 -      1             -
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Bill Nelson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            48%    14%    86%    48%    44%    52%    48%    40%
Unfavorable          42     77      6     42     48     37     42     52
Hvn't hrd enough      8      7      8      8      8      8      7      7
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      1      3      2      1
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable            37%    50%    44%    83%    39%
Unfavorable          57     39     47     13     44
Hvn't hrd enough      6      8      7      3     17
REFUSED               1      2      2      1      -
 
 
6. Is your opinion of Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            49%    87%    12%    46%    54%    45%    51%    54%
Unfavorable          47     10     83     51     44     50     47     42
Hvn't hrd enough      2      2      1      1      1      2      1      1
REFUSED               2      1      3      1      1      2      1      2
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable            61%    46%    53%    18%    62%
Unfavorable          38     50     44     74     35
Hvn't hrd enough      1      1      1      5      3
REFUSED               1      3      2      3      -
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott is handling his job as governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              51%    90%    14%    48%    56%    47%    54%    56%
Disapprove           46      8     82     48     41     50     44     40
DK/NA                 3      2      3      4      3      3      2      4
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              63%    48%    55%    19%    63%
Disapprove           33     49     42     78     34
DK/NA                 4      3      3      3      2
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                      LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                              WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              49%    14%    85%    51%    46%    51%    45%    43%
Disapprove           43     76      9     40     46     40     45     51
DK/NA                 8      9      6      9      8      9     10      6
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              38%    49%    44%    77%    48%
Disapprove           56     42     48     12     42
DK/NA                 6      9      8     11     10
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Marco Rubio is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              44%    77%    15%    40%    52%    37%    46%    49%
Disapprove           47     15     77     50     43     52     43     43
DK/NA                 8      8      8     10      5     12     11      8
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              57%    38%    47%    19%    57%
Disapprove           37     49     44     75     40
DK/NA                 5     13      9      7      3
 
 
12. Will your vote in this year's election for United States Senator be more to express support for President Trump, more to express opposition to President Trump, or will President Trump not be an important factor in your vote?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              26%    54%     4%    17%    29%    23%    22%    33%
Opposition           25      3     48     28     22     28     31     19
Not important factor 46     41     43     52     48     45     45     45
DK/NA                 3      1      5      3      2      4      2      3
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Support              34%    23%    28%     7%    39%
Opposition           20     29     25     26     24
Not important factor 45     44     45     59     36
DK/NA                 1      4      2      8      1