Nelson Tops Harris and Bense in Senate Showdown, Poll Shows

Florida voters may have some doubts about U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, but a new poll shows him ahead of any of the present Republican hopefuls, including Congresswoman Katherine Harrisand and House Speaker Allan Bense, in an early look at Nelson's 2006 re-election bid.

However, Nelson, a Melbourne Democrat, would have a slightly more difficult time against Harris than Bense.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute surveyed 1,248 registered voters in Florida between June 22 and the 26th. Its survey has a margin of error of plus and/or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Quinnipiac's snapshot of that race some 14 months before the primary showed Nelson favored by 55 percent of those asked to 26 percent for Bense.

In a general election showdown, Nelson was favored by 50 percent compared to 38 percent for Harris.

Harris would easily defeat Bense for the Republican nomination if an election were held now.