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Poll Shows Nelson Not Doing So Well, Mack Doing Even Worse

Florida voters could be tired of the mudslinging between the candidates in the Florida Senate race. While both candidates are growing unpopular among voters, a new poll shows Republican U.S. Congressman Connie Mack IV is doing worse than incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

A poll done by Public Policy Polling shows Senator Bill Nelson has a 7-point lead over Congressman Connie Mack IV. The gap is 5-points bigger than in the last poll from late July. But, PPP Director Tom Jensen says the only reason Nelson is ahead is because Mack is even more unpopular than Nelson:

“Nelson only has a 35-percent approval rating. 42-percent of voters disapprove of him," said Jensen. "Usually you see an incumbent Senator with those kinds of numbers. They’re going to lose the re-election. But, this is a weird case where Mack is even more unpopular. Just 27-percent of voters see him favorably, 45-percent unfavorably. So, it’s kind of a situation where voters see Nelson as the lesser of two evils.”

Jensen says because millions were spent on negative ads bashing the two candidates, voters grew to dislike both of them.

“Both of these candidates had much better personal poll numbers six months ago than they do now," remarked Jensen. "But, certainly there’s been a lot of attacking of both of them and it seems like it’s just kind of turned voters against both candidates. I think it’s really reflective of the electorate, both nationally and in Florida, this year, that’s just really disgusted, where voters just say we don’t like either of you guys.”

The poll also shows that ex-Governor Charlie Crist is not popular among Floridians anymore. After his endorsement of President Barack Obama, only 36-percent have a positive opinion of the former Republican. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott’s approval rating is the best figure the poll has shown for him while he’s been in office at 41-percent. But, in a hypothetical gubernatorial showdown between Scott and Crist, the poll shows Crist would lead Scott by 3-points 45 to 42, if he ran as a Democrat.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.