85ºF

Hurricane Michael doesn't shift Florida Senate race, poll finds

In final weeks of race, Nelson has 5-point lead in recent survey

Florida Gov. Rick Scott points out damage caused by Hurricane Michael from the air on Oct. 11 over the panhandle of Florida.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott points out damage caused by Hurricane Michael from the air on Oct. 11 over the panhandle of Florida. (Getty Images)

MIAMI – A new poll released Quinnipiac University Monday finds that Hurricane Michael has not had significant impact on the Florida Senate race as incumbent Bill Nelson still maintains a healthy six-point lead over Gov. Rick Scott.

The survey found 46 percent of likely voters supported Scott while 52 percent favored Nelson.  A previous poll in late September before the storm had 46 percent of likely voters backing Scott with 53 in support of Nelson.

Both Scott and Nelson worked to stay visible during the fast-moving Category 4 storm, which caused significant damage to towns on the Florida Panhandle. At least 20 people in Florida were killed as a result of the storm.

Scott briefly left the campaign trail to manage the state's response to the storm. Nelson has advocated for the rebuilding of Tyndall Air Force Base, which suffered severe storm damage.

The poll found that Nelson had strong support among female and independent voters. However, Scott holds a 53 to 44 percent lead among white voters.

"At this point, Sen. Nelson's six-point overall lead is built on his large margin among independent voters, 60 to 38 percent. If that margin holds up, the senator will be difficult to beat," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

A CNN poll released Sunday found Nelson leading Scott, 50 to 45 percent among likely voters.