Sen. Bill Nelson captured 50 percent to Republican challenger Gov. Rick Scott’s 45 percent of likely voters surveyed in a new poll — a wider lead for the Florida Democrat than prior studies showed.
The poll was conducted for CNN by SSRS and surveyed likely voters from October 16 to 20. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
Likely voters in Florida ranked health care and the economy as their top priorities as they weigh the Senate candidates, CNN reported. Just 11 percent of likely voters told interviewers they might change their mind before Election Day.
The poll also indicated that in the gubernatorial race, Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum holds a double-digit advantage over Republican opponent Rep. Ron DeSantis, a 52-42 spread. CNN released the poll hours before the candidates faced off in their first debate, which the network broadcast to a national audience. The DeSantis campaign picked apart CNN’s methodology, alleging it oversampled Democrats, and said the poll “is not worth the paper it is written on,” the Miami Herald reported.
The survey could be an outlier or reflect a surge of enthusiasm among Democrats, CNN said.
Pollsters interviewed about about 1,000 people, via both landlines and cellphones.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday reaffirms CNN’s numbers when it comes to the Senate race. Nelson holds a 52-46 advantage over Scott in a survey of likely voters, with women, black, Hispanic and independent voters driving his lead.
“At this point, Sen. Nelson’s six-point overall lead is built on his large margin among independent voters, 60 – 38 percent. If that margin holds up, the senator will be difficult to beat,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a press release. “Moreover, Sen. Nelson’s 20-point advantage among women is twice Gov. Scott’s 10-point edge among men.”
Quinnipiac called 1,161 likely voters on landlines and cellphones from Oct. 17 to Oct. 21, and reported a margin of error of +/- 3.5.
12 Ratings Changes for House, Senate and Gubernatorial Races: 4 Toward GOP, 8 Toward Democrats