The Democrats are ahead in a key U.S. Senate contest and the Florida gubernatorial race, a new poll shows.
A NBC News/Marist poll released on Tuesday afternoon shows U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., taking 48 percent of likely voters while Gov. Rick Scott takes 45 percent of them and 6 percent are undecided. When expanded to include registered voters, Nelson leads 48 percent to 43 percent.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate, is ahead in the gubernatorial race with 48 percent of likely voters followed by former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla,, with 43 percent. When this is expanded to include registered voters, Gillum is ahead 49 percent to 41 percent.
“The political environment in Florida, overall, is tipping in the Democrats’ favor,” insisted Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Nelson does well with African Africans and voters under 30. He leads Scott 57 percent to 37 percent with Latinos, 53 percent to 37 percent with independents and 53 percent to 40 percent with women.
Scott leads 52 percent to 40 percent with whites, 50 percent to 42 percent with men and edges Nelson 48 percent to 45 percent with voters 45 and older.
Those patterns hold in the gubernatorial race. Gillum is out front with 86 percent of African Americans and 61 percent of voters under 30. Women break for the Democrat 54 percent to 37 percent while he leads with Latinos 52 percent to 38 percent and with independents 51 percent to 38 percent.
DeSantis is up 51 percent to 41 percent with whites, 50 percent to 42 percent with men and 47 percent to 45 percent with voters 45 and older.
Nelson is seen as favorable by 44 percent while 36 percent view him unfavorable. Scott is seen as favorable by 46 percent and unfavorable by 45 percent.
Gillum is seen as favorable by 46 percent and unfavorable by 27 percent. DeSantis is seen as favorable by 42 percent while 37 percent see him as unfavorable.
Despite carrying Florida in 2016, President Donald Trump is upside down in Florida with 48 percent of likely voters disapproving of him and 46 percent approving of him. He does worse with registered voters with 44 percent approving of him and 48 disapproving of him.
Asked who they want to control Congress, 48 percent of likely voters say the Democrats and 45 percent say the Republicans. Among registered voters, 49 percent say the Democrats and 43 percent say the Republicans.
Asked what the top issue in November is, 24 percent of likely voters say healthcare, 23 percent say the economy and jobs, 17 percent say immigration and 10 percent say jobs.
The poll of 829 registered voters was taken from Sept. 16-Sept. 20 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The sample of 600 likely voters was taken during the same period and had a margin of error of +/-4.7 percent.