New poll finds Florida Senate, governor's races in statistical tie

Florida’s widely watched Senate and gubernatorial races are statistically tied less than a week before the midterm elections, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll released Tuesday.

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Incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon Lobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (D) has a razor-thin 2-point lead over opponent Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the Sunshine State’s Senate race. About 45 percent of likely voters support the three-term senator, while 43 percent support the governor. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Ten percent of likely voters polled said they are undecided, and 11 percent said they might change their minds. 


Nelson also has a favorability advantage, with 41 percent of likely voters polled having a favorable opinion of him compared to 38 percent who hold an unfavorable opinion. Scott, however, has a net-negative favorability rating, with 43 percent of likely voters viewing him favorably and 45 percent having an unfavorable opinion. 

Voters were split about President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s performance, with 46 percent of voters polled approving and an equal amount disapproving. The president won the state by about 1 point in 2016.

The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss-up,” and an average of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics has Nelson up 2 points.

Florida’s gubernatorial race is also close, with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) leading former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE (R) by just 1 point among likely voters — 45 percent to 44 percent — with 8 percent saying they’re undecided and 9 percent saying they might change their minds.

Both candidates have net-positive favorability ratings, with 40 percent of likely voters surveyed having a favorable view of Gillum (compared to 37 percent with an unfavorable view) and 42 percent of likely voters having a favorable opinion of DeSantis, with 36 percent of likely voters polled saying they view him unfavorably.

The Cook Political Report rates this race as a “toss-up,” and the RealClearPolitics average has Gillum up three points. 

Suffolk University polled 500 likely voters from Oct. 25-28. 

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