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Herald/Times/Bay News 9 poll: Sen. Bill Nelson slightly ahead of Rep. Connie Mack

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson holds a tight lead over his likely Republican challenger, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters prefer Nelson, a Democrat, while 42 percent say they would choose U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Fort Myers Republican and likely GOP nominee. Eleven percent were undecided.

Only 36 percent of respondents like Nelson and 12 percent did not recognize him, a sign the Capitol Hill fixture could lose his seat if Mack steps up his fight.

"Nelson is vulnerable," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, a nonpartisan, Jacksonville-based company that conducted the poll for the Times, Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13. The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the November general election — was conducted July 9-11 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

"Mack has got the name and probably the party behind him, so he could be strong enough to pull it off," Coker said.

Read more here.