Poll: Nelson leads Scott by 7 points in Florida
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Incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway MORE (D) is pulling ahead of Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the race for the Florida Senate seat in November, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Nelson holds a 53 to 46 percent lead over Scott among likely voters, a significant jump from the 49-49 tie in a Quinnipiac survey released Sept. 5. Nelson also led 56 to 40 percent among independent voters. 

Among those surveyed, 94 percent said that their mind is already made up.

Nelson polled particularly well among women, leading Scott 58 to 41, while men favor Scott 51 to 47 percent.

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"Sen. Nelson is ahead 53 - 46 percent by doing a tad better than Gov. Scott with their respective bases and holding a 16-point lead among the key independent voting bloc," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement.

"Nelson also leads among women and is breaking even among men — the traditional path to a Democratic victory."

Scott has come under fire recently over the two-term governor's handling of the red algae tide crisis hitting the state. The toxic algae is harmful to humans, kills thousands of fish and has cost the tourism industry millions.

Nelson has won reelection fairly easily since his first victory in 2001, but Scott has been putting up a tough challenge and several previous polls have shown them in a dead heat.

Nelson is one of 10 Democratic senators seeking reelection this fall in states President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE won in 2016.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 20 and 24 and surveyed 888 likely voters. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.