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Nelson's Lead In Florida Senate Race Widens Slightly In New Polls

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Results of two separate polls released on the eve of Election Day show Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has seen a slight increase in his lead in the Florida Senate race.

A Quinnipiac University poll showed Nelson with a 51 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican Governor Rick Scott among likely Florida voters.

Nelson's seven-point lead in the latest poll compares to the incumbent Senator's six-point advantage in a poll conducted last month.

The Democratic Senator continues to benefit from strong support among women, black, Hispanic, and independent voters, while men are divided and white voters back Scott.

"Nelson has a 13-point edge among independent voters," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Candidates with double- digit leads among independents rarely lose."

However, a separate NBC News/Marist poll showed Nelson with a narrower 50 percent to 46 percent lead over Scott among likely Florida voters.

The four-point advantage for Nelson is within the poll's margin of error but is still slightly wider than the 48 percent to 45 percent lead for the Democrat in a survey conducted in September.

Among a larger pool of all registered Florida voters, Nelson leads Scott by 50 percent to 45 percent compared to the 48 percent to 43 percent advantage in the September poll.

The poll showed negative opinions of both Nelson and Scott have risen over the course of the campaign, which is one of the most expensive in U.S. history.

The Quinnipiac survey of 1,142 likely Florida voters was conducted October 29th through November 4th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, the NBC/Marist poll of 1,038 Florida adults was conducted October 30th through November 2nd and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The margin of error for 917 registered voters is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points, while the margin of error for 595 likely voters is plus or minus 5.0 percentage points.

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