Public Policy Polls: The Florida Senate race is one of the strangest in the country this year. Bill Nelson has middling approval numbers, with only 35% of voters approving of him to 42% who disapprove. Usually an incumbent in that kind of position would be doomed for defeat. And yet Nelson has a 7 point lead over Connie Mack IV, 45-38, representing a 5 point increase in his lead compared to our last poll in late July.
The reason Nelson’s ahead despite being unpopular is that Mack is even more unpopular. Only 27% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 45% with an unfavorable one. Just 17% of independents have a positive opinion of Mack to 48% with a negative one, and much of Nelson’s lead comes thanks to a 45-29 advantage with that group.
This campaign kind of represents the new norm in electoral politics- millions have been spent bashing the heck out of both candidates, so voters dislike both of them and are kind of just choosing the lesser of two evils. For now that’s Nelson.