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Nelson Below 50 Percent in New Poll

Nelson Below 50 Percent in New Poll

By Erin McPike - February 15, 2011

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson should be relieved GOP former Gov. Jeb Bush has indicated he won't challenge him in next year's Senate race, because a new poll shows the Democrat would come up short.

A Mason-Dixon poll out this morning shows that in a matchup between Bush and Nelson, Nelson would lose by 8 points, 49 percent to 41 percent.

The poll of 625 registered voters was conducted on Feb. 9 and 10 and has a margin or error of 4 percentage points.

Late last year, Bush signaled to state Senate President Mike Haridopolos that he would not run, giving Haridopolos the green light to go forward with a campaign. He has since announced a bid and raised $1 million in a day earlier this month.

But Haridopolos has a long way to go to make things competitive against Nelson, who led him 48 percent to 27 percent in the survey.

Similarly, former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who is known to be another prolific fundraiser examining the race, also trails Nelson by more than 20 points, 46 percent to 24 percent.

The other two names tested who are seriously considering the race are Rep. Connie Mack and former Sen. George LeMieux. While they have higher name recognition in the state and performed better against Nelson in the poll, they aren't expected to perform as well in a GOP primary.

Mack scored 40 percent to Nelson's 45 percent, and LeMieux took 35 percent to Nelson's 49 percent.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at emcpike@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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