Saint Leo University Poll Shows Early Base of GOP Support for U.S. Senate Candidacy Favoring Governor Rick Scott
SAINT LEO – Florida Republicans asked to think about the next major election in their lives— coming in 2018—favor current Governor Rick Scott above others named as possible GOP nominees to run for U.S. Senate, a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) survey shows.
The poll of 501 Florida residents was completed November 27 through November 30, 2016.
Republicans in the sample were asked whom they could support in a primary for the six-year term for U.S. Senate. The seat is currently held by three-term Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson.
If Florida Governor Scott wanted to be the GOP candidate, 41 percent of the Republicans surveyed said they could support him. Scott is prevented by term limits from seeking the office of governor again. He has been elected twice, consecutively.
After Scott, the next most common answer was “unsure or don’t know,” selected by 33.1 percent. Another 11.2 percent said they wanted “someone else” instead of the names presented. The choices shown were solely names, without current political offices or occupations attached.
Outgoing Republican Congressman David Jolly of St. Petersburg, who lost his bid to return to the U.S. House of Representatives, was supported by 6.2 percent. The other names presented were current officeholders, all even at less than 3 percent: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach on Florida’s east coast; Carlos Lopez-Cantera, lieutenant governor under Scott; and U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney of Okeechobee.
“Clearly Rick Scott is benefitting from the fact that he is the most well-known of the Republicans seeking to unseat Bill Nelson,” said Saint Leo University Polling Institute Director Frank Orlando. “When facing off against the candidates who sought the GOP nomination before Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election, he’s dominating against candidates […]