Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Poll Gives Scott Slight Edge over Nelson in Senate Race; Falls within Margin of Error by Jim Saunders

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Poll Gives Scott Slight Edge over Nelson in Senate Race; Falls within Margin of Error by Jim Saunders

Article excerpt

Byline: The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE -- Emerging from his final legislative session, Republican Gov. Rick Scott holds a small lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in a potential U.S. Senate race that could help determine control of the Senate, according to a poll released Monday.

The poll of likely voters, conducted this month by the Tallahassee-based firm Clearview Research, shows Scott receiving 43.3 percent of the support, while Nelson gets 41.3 percent. The difference is within the poll's margin of error of 3.58 percentage points.

Scott has not announced he is running for the Senate but is widely expected to do so -- and no other prominent Republicans are running against Nelson. After the annual legislative session ended Sunday afternoon, Scott indicated a decision on entering the high-profile race could be weeks away.

"I'm focused on this (governor's) job. I'm glad we had a very successful session," Scott said. "I'll think about my future in the next few weeks."

Steve Vancore, president of Clearview Research, said Scott leads Nelson by a margin of 37 percent to 34 among voters without party affiliations. Another key factor in the poll results is that Vancore's firm estimates Republicans will have a narrow turnout edge in the mid-term election.

"While it is still very early to make any predictions, it is clear that this off-year election could come down to two simple factors: turnout and gaining margins among NPA (no party affiliation) voters," Vancore said in an analysis of the results. "Both candidates are extremely well known and have the strong support of their parties, so turnout will be vital and in the event turnout is even, it will come down to NPA or independent' voters who, right now, slightly favor the governor."

Vancore said Nelson does best among young voters, African-Americans and non-Cuban Hispanics. …

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