Poll shows Sen. Nelson in virtual dead heat against Gov. Scott among Latino voters

Poll shows Sen. Nelson in virtual dead heat against Gov. Scott among Latino voters
© Greg Nash

In the race for Senate in Florida, a new poll from Democratic organizations shows incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country Elon Musk mocks Biden for ignoring his company's historic space flight How will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? MORE (D) in a statistical dead heat against Gov. Rick Scott (R) in terms of support from the state's Latino voters. 

The poll showed Nelson holding a slim 44-41 point lead against Scott, well within the survey's margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. It was commissioned by Hispanic Federation, Latino Victory Fund, Alianza, Power 4 Puerto Rico and Global Strategy Group and is available in Politico's web site. 

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The poll of 400 Florida Latinos shows Scott running up the score with conservative Hispanic groups, leading Nelson by 24 points among Cuban-Floridians, with 10 percent undecided.

Meanwhile, Nelson only held a 7-point lead among the reliably Democratic Puerto Rican community, with 19 percent undecided.

Scott also leads Nelson in terms of who is seen as having better handled the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico: 41 percent of respondents said Scott did enough to welcome Puerto Ricans to the state, while only 33 percent said Nelson did the same.

Yet Nelson may find a silver lining in respondents’ attitudes toward President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE.

Respondents say Trump hasn’t done enough to welcome Puerto Ricans to Florida by a 30-point margin, and 78 percent said the "current situation in the U.S. is motivating them to vote."

Nelson will need Latinos to come out to vote for him in large numbers if he wants to get reelected, according to political observers. Scott had a 55 percent approval rating in an April Morning Consult poll and has a personal war chest worth millions.

An average of head-to-head polls calculated by RealClearPolitics shows Scott with a 1.2 percent lead over Nelson.

Four hundred Hispanic residents of Florida were interviewed by phone between July 30 and August 5 for the poll.