Pollster sees Kavanaugh factor in Florida’s Nelson-Scott Senate race

Republican Gov. Rick Scott (left) and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson are virtually tied in a new Mason-Dixon poll. (Photos by George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a virtual tie in their nationally watched U.S. Senate race.

Read Palm Beach Post coverage of Tuesday’s Nelson-Scott debate by clicking here.

Nelson gets 47 percent and Scott 46 percent in a survey of 815 likely voters with a 3.5 percent margin of error. President Donald Trump gets a 46 percent approval rating and a 48 percent disapproval rating in the survey, making him “a neutral factor, other than serving as a motivator for partisan turnout on both sides,” says Mason-Dixon’s Brad Coker.

A new Inside Florida Politics podcast is coming today. Get a rolling start by checking out the previous podcast here…

Coker says key elements of the race have been shifting in Nelson’s direction, and fellow Democrat Andrew Gillum‘s bid to become Florida’s first African-American governor should help the thee-term senator by bringing out minority voters who are otherwise less likely to vote in a midterm.

But, Coker also noted, “this poll was conducted during the week of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, which may have sparked Republican voter interest and closed the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and the GOP. It could explain why Nelson may have had larger leads in several other polls conducted prior to last week, while this one shows him still in a toss-up contest. At least for the moment, the Supreme Court battle is casting a shadow in Florida.”


Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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