May 24, 2012 at 11:17 am
Two new polls out Thursday show the Senate race tightening in Florida. A new NBC-Marist poll gives Sen. Bill Nelson a 46-to-42 percent lead over GOP front-runner Connie Mack (R-FL), while the Quinnipiac poll released today shows a virtual tie in the race.
The Q-poll, which has Mack up by a 42-to-41 percent margin, is based on the same sample that has come under fire from Democrats who say the survey’s demographic breakdown doesn’t mirror registration numbers. Democrats hold roughly a 40-36 percent registration edge over Republicans in Florida but Quinnipiac’s weighted sample is 34 percent Republican and 31 percent Democrat.
Still, with the NBC-Marist poll showing Nelson only 4 points ahead of Mack, it is clear the race is tightening. April polls from Rasmussen and PPP had the Democratic incumbent posting double-digit leads over Mack. And in the previous Q poll, conducted in late March, Nelson held an 8 point overall lead over the four-term congressman.
In terms of the GOP primary, Quinnipiac has Mack clobbering his opponents, getting 40 percent of the vote to 7 percent for former Sen. George LeMieux and 8 percent for Mike McCalister. Another 41 percent are undecided. Former Rep. Dave Weldon, who announced his bid on Friday, was not included in the names of candidates offered to survey respondents because he hadn’t decided to run when the poll began.
“Although some activists have been critical of Congressman Connie Mack and his campaign, he retains an overwhelming lead in the race for the Republican Senate nomination and is tied with Sen. Bill Nelson,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The Quinnipiac poll of 1,722 Florida voters was conducted May 15-21 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
The NBC-Marist poll of 1,078 Florida voters was conducted May 17-20 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.