Bill Nelson Holds 13-Point Lead Over Possible Republican Opponents

Bill Nelson has done a pretty decent job of upholding the tradition of being Florida's sort of boring, painfully moderate, generally congenial Democratic Senator. His approval/disapproval numbers right now are a somewhat worrying 38/34, but when he's placed head to head against all the possible Republicans who could challenge him in 2012 he crushes them. At least for now anyway.

In preparation for their campaign in 2012, Republicans are already hard at work tying Nelson to President Obama, but ironically they may be in the same boat: their approval ratings aren't rock solid at the moment, but any of the possible GOP contenders are in worse shape.

Public Policy Polling calls Senate President Mike Haridopolos the "nominal front runner" at the moment, but his approval/disapproval ratings are spectacularly under water at 9/23. That's probably because of that whole embarrassing book scandal. Nelson would wipe the floor with Hardidopolos 50-34. Even 30 percent of voters who consider themselves "somewhat conservative" would vote for Nelson.

Nelson would beat former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner 58-32, and a match-up against former temporary Senator George LeMeiux has Nelson winning 48-33.

While Rep. Connie Mack IV has announced he won't run, Nelson would beat him 47-34. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough isn't likely to enter the race either, but Nelson would win 45-32.

There's also apparently some really weird effort to draft Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales into the race, but Nelson also holds a 47-28 lead.

This isn't to say Nelson is undefeatable, or that any of these current candidates can't build their popularity, but the GOP isn't off to a good start against Nelson in 2012. Maybe Marco Rubio has a secret twin brother they can draft?

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Kyle Munzenrieder