Rubio posts solid job approval rating; Nelson holding steady

With a high-stakes budget battle raging in Washington, Viewpoint Florida checked in with Florida voters to get their grades for their two US Senators.

Despite a deeply anti-incumbent election cycle in 2010, Florida’s Senators are both more popular than unpopular. Senator Marco Rubio enjoys widespread support across partisan and geographic lines. And while voters do give Senator Bill Nelson decent marks for his work in Washington, he lacks the enthusiastic support from his Democratic base that Senator Rubio enjoys amongst Republican voters.

Senator Bill Nelson receives positive marks from 45% of respondents, while 38% disapproved of his work in Washington.

Senator Nelson enjoys significant approval from Republicans, but also faces a substantial level of negative reviews from voters in his own party. One in three Republicans gave Nelson positive marks, while nearly one in four Democrats disapproved of his recent job performance.

The two-term Democratic Senator also earns approval from 48% of independents, while 39% of independents disapproved of his performance.

Marco Rubio is the more popular of Florida’s two Senators less than three months into his first term in office. Senator Rubio’s job approval rating stands at 61%, with only 30% of likely voters giving him a negative review. Just 48% of Democrats said they disapproved of the Republican Senator Rubio, while 83% of Republicans graded Rubio favorably.

Rubio’s huge support with his base stands out against Senator Nelson’s 58% approval rating among Democrats, and accounts for a fair portion of the difference between Nelson and Rubio’s job approval numbers.

Finally, Rubio’s 53% approval rating among independent voters is slightly better than Nelson’s 48% approval rating, and his +11 net positive rating with independents is slightly greater than Nelson’s +9 net rating, but not significantly so.

The study was conducted on March 29 - 30th among 838 registered voters likely to vote in the 2012 General Election. The margin of error is 3.4%.

Full Results


For details see Methodology

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