Bill Nelson holds a tight lead over his likely Republican challenger, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.
Forty-seven percent of likely voters prefer Nelson, a Democrat, while 42 percent say they would choose U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Fort Myers Republican and likely GOP nominee. Eleven percent were undecided.
Only 36 percent of respondents like Nelson and 12 percent did not recognize him, a sign the Capitol Hill fixture could lose his seat if Mack steps up his fight.
“Nelson is vulnerable,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, a nonpartisan, Jacksonville-based company that conducted the poll for the Times, Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13. The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the November general election — was conducted July 9-11 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
“Mack has got the name and probably the party behind him, so he could be strong enough to pull it off,” Coker said.