PPP: Nelson up double digits in FL-Sen
Bill Nelson, despite less than impressive approval numbers, continues to lead all of his potential opponents in the Florida Senate race by double digits.
Nelson is up 47-37 on Connie Mack IV, 47-35 on Mike McCalister, and 48-34 on George LeMieux. Nelson’s advantage comes thanks to leads ranging from 24-33 points with independents over the Republican field and because he wins anywhere between 11 and 16% of the GOP vote in the three match ups, more than the share of the Democratic vote that he’s losing.
Nelson’s leads come despite having only a 36% approval rating, with 32% of voters disapproving of him. Even after decades at the center of Florida politics 33% have no opinion about him one way or the other. The main thing holding Nelson’s approval numbers back is that only 55% of Democrats give him good marks, but 80-81% of them still vote for him in head to head match ups against his GOP opponents. His 15% support from Republicans and 37/34 split with independents are decent.
Nelson’s reelection prospects are definitely being helped by a weak Republican candidate field. His opponents are a combination of unknown and unliked. Mack has the best name recognition with 47% of voters familiar with him but he’s not popular, with only 20% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with a negative opinion. George LeMieux’s favorability is 10/25 and Mike McCalister’s is 6/17.
Nelson could still be vulnerable. Most Senators with a 36% approval rating would be. But between his relative strength with Republicans and independents and the weakness of his opponents, right now his reelection prospects are looking pretty good.
Full results here