By Joseph Hammond
Pundits are promising a blue wave election fall, but a new poll suggests it may not make it to the Sunshine State.
The new poll released by the right-leaning McLaughlin & Associates shows Gov. Rick Scott leading Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson, 47%-46%.
“It’s time to shake that place up,” Scott, a popular two-term governor, says in a video announcing his run, “We don’t need another politician in Washington. It’s full of politicians, and that’s why it’s broken.”
As he pushes his message of change in Washington, Scott is hoping to defy the experts just as Donald Trump did in 2016, when he unexpectedly won Florida.
Scott’s 1 point lead over the Democrat incumbent. Florida is within most polls margin of error but, any incumbent who is polling less than 50% is in trouble a McLaughlin & Associates summary of the poll says.
The summary also states that independent voters favor Scott (46% to 44%). A poll released earlier this year found that the Florida governor was enjoying his highest ever voter approval rating.
McLauglin & Associates also found both candidates had the approval of their voters though. Some 53% approved of the two-term governor’s job performance, while 46% approved of the job Senator Nelson was doing in Washington.
Still, most pollsters have the state too close to call still roughly seven months from election day. That is also the case which has the state a toss-up on its rankings. Four previous listed on RealClearPolitics polls – all of which were conducted before Scott announced- have all shown Nelson winning. The last which was completed on March 19th showed Nelson with a small 3.8% advantage over Scott.
Both sides plan to spend millions on the senate race. The Center for Responsive politics believes the race could cost $200 making it the most expensive ever, more than the previous record of $180 million spent in Pennsylvania in 2016. Scott is a multi-millionaire, and while it is unclear how much of his money he intends to invest in the campaign, the governor has targeted raising $110 million.
Though both Scott and Nelson candidates face primary election challenges, they are both perceived as the frontrunner in their respective primary races.
Photo by Alex Iby via Unsplash.