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PPP: Nelson up Double-Digits in FL-Sen

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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.

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