Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who's in the crosshairs of national Republicans ahead of 2012, said Tuesday that President Obama's compromise with Republicans on the extension of Bush-era tax cuts is "the right thing to do."

Nelson told reporters that he supports the bipartisan compromise, saying it will stimulate the economy and help bring down unemployment. 

The Florida Democrat's approval ratings are below 50 percent, putting him high on the list of GOP Senate targets in 2012 and he's been taking flak from both sides on the tax cut issue. 

The left has been pressuring Nelson to reject an extension of tax cuts for the wealthy. MoveOn.org led a protest in front of the Democrat's Florida office last week. 

His potential Republican opponents in 2012 are also applying the pressure. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) a rumored contender for the Senate seat, penned a recent column in the Orlando Sentinel calling on Nelson to admit that his previous Senate votes in opposition to the cuts were wrong. 

"Admitting he was wrong to oppose the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 would be a first step for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to signal he 'got the message' in the recent citizen revolt," Mack wrote. 

Nelson also said Tuesday he intends to lobby skeptical Senate Democratic colleagues to support the compromise. 

According to Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, Nelson's approval stands at just 37 percent positive. But he has traditionally polled better than most with Republicans and independent voters, which could make him a tougher target in 2012. 

Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) has all but officially jumped in the race and along with Mack, Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) is also mulling a bid.