Likely Florida voters favor Gov. Rick Scott over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by a 46-to-41 percent margin in their nationally watched U.S. Senate contest, according to a new online poll for CBS by YouGov.
The poll also finds 53 percent of likely Florida voters approve of President Donald Trump‘s job performance in a state Trump won by 1.2 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Fifty-five percent of likely Florida voters disapprove of separating children from parents who try to enter the U.S. illegally, with 47 percent calling the policy “immoral.” The issue matters “a lot” to 45 percent of likely voters and matters “some” to another 28 percent.
But while Democrats have slammed Trump for the separations policy, Florida voters spread the blame around and the issue appears to have limited potential as an election-changer.
One-third of likely voters say the issue makes them more likely to consider voting for Democrats in November, 23 percent say they’re more likely to vote Republican and 44 say it won’t change the way they vote. Among independents, 53 say the issue won’t change how they think about voting.
Fifty-two percent of likely voters, including the same percentage of independents, say parents are mostly to blame for bringing their children into the country illegally. Another 23 percent say parents are partly but not entirely to blame.
Asked who has the responsibility for changing the separations policy, likely Florida voters point to Trump (69 percent), Republicans in Congress (80 percent) and Democrats in Congress (73 percent).
Among likely independent voters, 68 percent say Trump has responsibility to change the policy, 79 percent point to congressional Republicans and 80 percent point to congressional Democrats.
In the Scott-Nelson race, Scott has 62 percent approval among likely voters while Nelson’s approval rating is 54 percent. Scott leads among independent voters by a 41-to-32 percent margin.
The poll of 1,002 registered voters was conducted last Tuesday through Friday and has a 3.5 percent margin of error. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said they definitely or probably plan to vote in the 2018 elections.