Nelson’s lead dwindling in U.S. Senate race? Maybeby John Kennedy | October 15th, 2012
With the lone debate upcoming between Florida’s U.S. Senate contenders, Republican Connie Mack was crowing Monday about a new Rasmussen Reports survey that shows Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson’s lead down to one-percent.
But even those running the robo-poll aren’t sure what to make of the new numbers — a dramatic downturn for Nelson from last week’s Rasmussen survey that showed the Democrat on top by 11 percentage points.
“It is highly unlikely that public opinion shifted 10 points within a week,” the polling firm acknowledged. “That suggests either last week’s results or this week’s may be an outlier. Polling theory suggests that one out of every 20 polls will produce results outside the margin of error.”
The Rasmussen poll of 750 Florida voters was conducted Oct. 11. It has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 4 percent. Because it uses automated dialing to reach respondents, Rasmussen is prohibited from contacting cell-phone users, now believed to represent about one-third of voters and a population that skews Democratic.
But it may also make sense that Mack is gaining on Nelson as Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has overtaken President Obama within the Sunshine State.
“If Mitt Romney wins, I win. If I win, Mitt Romney wins,” Mack has said. “So we are certainly going to be tied together.
Mack and Nelson are scheduled to face-off Wednesday night on live, statewide television for their only debate of the race from Nova Southeastern University in Davie.