Portrait of young businesswoman with newspaper screaming in megaphone. 20February 2018

BDP Sunshine State Battleground Poll: February 2018

Key Findings:

  • Nearly 6 in 10 Florida Voters Approve of Rick Scott
  • Rick Scott Leads Bill Nelson By 2 Points
  • Voters More Evenly Split on Donald Trump
  • Voters Favor Armed Guards in Schools Over Gun Control
  • Gun Control Gains Vs. Mental Health Reforms
  • Putnam Leads DeSantis, But Race Wide Open


Governor Rick Scott holds a slight edge over incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in a hypothetical matchup for the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Florida. The PPD-BDP Sunshine State Battleground Poll finds Gov. Scott leading Senate Nelson by almost 2 points exactly, 39.23% to 37.25%, respectively.

Read Article: Poll: With a Nearly 60% Approval Rating, Rick Scott Holds Slight Edge Over Bill Nelson

“The good news for Governor Scott if he chooses to run is that he has more of his base behind him than Senator Nelson,” Big Data Poll director Rich Baris said. “He also draws slightly more of the crossover vote than the incumbent. The good news for Senator Nelson is that independents slightly favor him right now.”

“Still, no incumbent wants to be in the 30s.”

View Crosstabs via Google Sheets.

BDP Sunshine State Battleground Poll Questionnaire 02-18*

AAPOR Transparency Initiative Checklist PPD-BDP Sunshine State Battleground Poll Feb

*(Big Data Poll logo on the survey questionnaire is NOT visible to panel respondents.)

“We’ve seen a remarkable shift in Governor Scott’s image since Hurricane Irma and it continues to climb,” Mr. Baris added. “He’s by far the strongest Republican candidate in the state to take on Senator Nelson in a race we didn’t previously view as particularly competitive. If Governor Scott gets in, Senator Nelson will have a real race on his hands.”

Big Data Poll conducted the mixed-mode survey of 910 registered voters in Florida from February 17 to 18, 2018. The survey has margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. The mixed-mode breakdown was a total of 609 interviews conducted using interactive voice response (IVR) and 301 conducted by online survey panel (OSP).

The data are weighted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education and income based on projected voter turnout. Partisan affiliation is derived from a proprietary model for demographic weighting, not the other way around. The sample identified a partisan split of 32.64% Republican, 32.09% Democrat, 31.10% Independent and 4.18% “Something Else.” Read about methodology here.

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