Despite much evidence in the 2010 election cycle to the contrary, Florida voters have not completely lost their damn minds. A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Rush Limbaugh does not have a chance of knocking off incumbent democratic senator Bill Nelson when he's up for reelection in 2012. The more interesting news is that apparently no Republican has much of a chance of beating Nelson in two years.
Rush Limbaugh, despite living part time in Palm Beach, has actually not expressed any interest in running for Senate from the state. He wouldn't have much of a chance anyway.
Bill Nelson would coast to reelection over Limbaugh, 50 to 36 percent.
Despite a national trend of falling favorability ratings and reelection trends for incumbent democratic members of congress, Nelson is actually sitting in a pretty sweet spot.
The moderate senior senator of the Sunshine State is viewed favorably by 40 percent of Floridians, and only unfavorably by 35 percent. Though it's not all good news, reports PPP:
What stands out is that he's unusually popular with Republicans in this highly polarized political climate (26% approval) and he's on positive ground with independents at 38/35. The reason his overall numbers aren't great is that he has only a 55% approval rating with Democrats but most of the ones who don't approve of him would still vote for him anyway given the choice between him and a Republican.
Even more realistic potential opponents face an uphill battle against Nelson.
Nelson would beat Rep. Connie Mack IV (son of a former senator) 42 percent to 33 percent.
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Back in July, PPP ran a similar poll. They found Nelson would beat Jeb Bush, 46-44, and would beat temporary senator George LeMeiux 49-28.
It's astounding that Nelson's chances at reelection seem so good even in 2010. This is, after all, a pretty toxic time to be a Democrat, and its hard to imagine things will get worse by 2012.
Many are comparing 2010 to 1994's Republican Revolution, but by the time the '96 elections came around the electoral fate of Democrats had started to improve.