February 3, 2011 | 11:36am
Senior Democratic Senator Bill Nelson may be the most popular state-wide elected politician in Florida right now, but considering all the others are newly elected, that's not exactly surprising or necessarily an indication that his reelection bid in 2012 is in the best shape. His approval ratings may be better than Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, but he only holds a slight edge over a generic Republican challenger in a poll released today.
45 percent of Floridians approve of the way Nelson is handling his job, while only 21 percent disprove according to Quinnipiac
. Even more Republicans approve of Nelson than disapprove. More than any other politician in Florida he seems to be in OK standing with almost every demographic, regional, and political identification group.
Though, when it comes to 2012, only 41 percent say they'd vote for him. 36 percent say they'd rather vote for the Republican candidate. It's not exactly a bad situation, but gives any Republican lots of room to potentially send Nelson packing.
Only a few weeks into his job, Marco Rubio has a 42 percent approval rating, compared to just 20 percent who disapprove. Unsurprisingly he's a superstar in his party with 65 percent of Republicans approving. Only 55 percent of Democrats approve of Nelson's performance.
Though in both cases, many Floridians say they don't know enough about either to have an opinion. The vast majority of Floridians do know enough about President Barack Obama though, and by a narrow 49 to 47 percent margin they disapprove of his job performance. 42 percent say they'd vote for the Republican in 2012, while only 40 percent say they'd vote for Obama.