New numbers out Tuesday show Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) leading all of his potential GOP opponents in 2012, with the exception of one: former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.).
In a hypothetical 2012 Senate contest, the former governor leads Nelson 49 percent to 44, taking close to 30 percent of the Democratic vote from Nelson, according to Democratic-leaning firm, Public Policy Polling.
The only problem is that Bush hasn't signaled any interest in a 2012 Senate run, and GOP insiders in the state say they have little reason to believe he'll change his mind.
Outgoing Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) and state Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) are both likely candidates and have indicated they would step aside should Bush decide to jump into the race. Nelson has yet to officially announce his intentions for 2012.
The poll shows Nelson's top-line approval numbers to be poor, with just 36 percent of voters approving. He gets just 45 percent approval from Democrats in the state. But pollster Tom Jensen said Nelson's strength lies in better-than-average approval numbers among independent voters and Republicans.
Those numbers help Nelson top every potential contender with the exception of Bush.
Nelson leads Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) 44 percent to 36; he leads LeMieux 47 percent to 36 percent, and he tops Haridopolos 44 percent to 32 percent.