Friday, July 23, 2010

Florida 2012

Our newest survey, looking ahead to the 2012 Senate race in Florida, finds that an epic contest between Bill Nelson and Jeb Bush would be closely fought. Nelson leads Bush 46-44 in such a match up.

Nelson has pretty solid approval numbers for a Democrat in this political climate, with 39% of voters giving him good marks to 33% disapproving. He's doing well on two key measures: independents approve of him 39/34, and there are more Republicans (21%) who like the job he's doing than there are Democrats (18%) who don't.

Bush's favorability numbers are pretty solid as well, an indication that the Bush brand or at least the non-George W. Bush brand, is not completely destroyed. 45% of voters have a favorable opinion of him while 42% see him unfavorably. His numbers are extremely polarized along party lines with 78% of Republicans seeing him positively and 72% of Democrats seeing him negatively. Independents split almost evenly, 41/40 toward a favorable view of Bush.

A head to head match up between Nelson and Bush shapes up as a contest where both candidates would already have their parties pretty much completely locked up and independents would hold the balance of power in this closely divided state. Bush has an 83-10 advantage with Republicans while Nelson has an 81-10 lead with Democrats. Nelson holds the overall lead thanks to a 49-36 edge with independents.

There's a pretty good chance a Nelson-Bush bout would be the most expensive US Senate race ever, and it seems likely that it would be the most watched race in the country beyond the Presidential race.

At this point though it seems more likely that Nelson's opponent might be his current colleague, appointed Senator George LeMieux, and Nelson can only hope that's the case. LeMieux has not made much of a positive impression on Florida voters. Only 13% approve of his job performance while 25% disapprove. Even with Republicans his numbers are negative at 16% approval and 18% disapproval. He has not molded himself into a particularly formidable future candidate.

In a head to head contest Nelson leads LeMieux 49-28. Nelson gets 79% of Democrats while LeMieux earns support from only 52% of Republicans, and Nelson leads 49-25 with independents as well.

Nelson's numbers are good but not so good he's unbeatable. Republicans will need a really top notch candidate to do that though.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Well in NC, a new poll was just released from Lake Research:

Marshall 37%
Burr 35%

Cannot wait to see your next poll, on this race!

Jayant Reddy said...

Tom, with all due respect, a 45-42 favorability is surprisingly poor for Jeb Bush. He was extremely popular with the overall electorate, even though very unpopular with the Democratic base, when he finished his 2 terms as Governor, and he's been a private citizen for 3 1/2 years. And he's said and done nothing to become personally controversial since he finished as Governor. As a rule the public's hard feelings soften for any elected official in the years after retirement. Even Dubya is already less disliked now than he was his last day as President.

So for all that, Jeb's favorability in Florida today is just 45-42? That's shockingly bad.

I must conclude that either Jeb's public image has tanked, or your polling misfired this time. I honestly am not guessing which of the two, as every pollster has outliers and there's no shame in that, but at the same time I suppose it's possible that politicians have become so unpopular in the current environment that even years out of office one can be viewed worse than before.

JCordes said...

Jayant, as a Floridian myself, I suspect it's related to our horrible unemployment rate. It's possible many former supporters have turned against him if they see the housing bubble/crash as an effect of his policies as governor.

Glenn Koons said...

I suggest that one waits till after Nov. to really do any polling for 2012. It depends on whether the entire nation if finally sick and tired of the progressive socialist pacifist Dems on local, state and Congressional levels to see how people begin to think of 2012. First, Fla. has to dispose of Judas Crist. Then it can think about do knowing Nelson. As to the Burr poll, I want to see how RAS and Zogby deal with that NC race before I believe Burr is that far behind his opponent.

charlie krakau said...

i am a floridian, and the problem is jebs business ties in the community. his business partners fled the country and can not return due to several inditements.also, his columbian born wife would not live in tallahasse, she had to be by all aspanish speaking folks. also, while his daughter was in rehab she was selling drugs to patients, he got her off those charges. there are some trust issues here.

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