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Herald poll: Nelson holds 6-point lead; 49-43 over Mack

UPDATE: Republican Mitt Romney’s coattails do not appear to be long enough to carry U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV into the U.S. Senate, according to a new Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald/Tampa Bay Times poll.

Democrat Bill Nelson, 70, a two-term senator from Orlando, retains a six-point lead in the high profile match-up, as Republican ticket-splitters and independent voters continue to provide the crucial margin Nelson needs to return to Washington.

According to the survey of voters taken Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, Nelson leads Mack 49-43 percent and gets one out of every nine Romney voters — a sign that voters are looking for “someone who can work across the aisle’’ in the closely-divided Senate, said Brad Coker, director of the non-partisan Mason Dixon Polling and Research, which conducted the poll.

“Independents aren’t sold that Republicans have the answers, and they aren’t sold that Democrats have the answers,’’ he said.

The breakdown on the Romney voters: 80 percent vote for Mack, 12 percent vote for Nelson, 4 percent vote for the other Senate candidates and 4 percent are still undecided. Story here.

David James, deputy campaign manager released this statement: 

“The problem with the poll is that it has 5% more Democrats than Republicans. That wasn't even true in 2008 when the cult of Obama was at its height. In a normal election like 2004, Republican turnout was plus 4% which is why this result may be as much as 10% off of the mark.

“Democrats are voting 70% less in early voting to date compared to turnout in 2008.  In the 2008 election, Democrats were only plus 3% in the final returns.

“We expect this election to be more like 2004, and our analysis is based on the eventual turnout being at least plus 3% for Republicans.  If the voting trends seen in the Mason-Dixon poll continue, when based on accurate modeling, Connie Mack will be elected and Mitt Romney will thrash Barack Obama."