Among Hispanic voters, Nelson leads 44-39 percent. He does best among young voters with 50-46 percent support and seniors, where he leads Mack 49-43 percent.
Virginia Leonard, 92, a registered Republican from North Port, said she voted for Republican John McCain four years ago for president but, this year, she is voting a Democratic ticket with votes for both Obama and Nelson.
"I have been listening off and on for a long time on Connie Mack,’’ she said. “I do not trust him.’’
Donald Verity, a 74-year-old real estate agent in Dunnellon, is leaning toward voting for Mack but with reservations.
"I want the Republicans to capture the Senate," he said. "I’m not thrilled with their candidate in Florida, but I’m trying to weigh whether my voting against that candidate is the right thing to do.”
Nelson’s steady stream of attack ads about Mack seem to have contributed to Verity’s indecision.
"If those are true, I have some reservations about voting for somebody of that nature,’’ he said.
Shirley Plummer, a 74-year-old retired educator from Plantation, said she will vote for Nelson. “I like the fact that he’s for the middle class, and the work that he has done in the Senate,’’ she said. “He advocates for women and he’s for equal pay for equal work."
Carlos Shanon a 69-year-old independent voter and Vietnam veteran from Pensacola is one of those ticket splitters. He is voting for Romney and Nelson, having been convinced that Mack doesn’t show up for work.
“I don’t think he’s voting for Florida residents and he’s not even voting at all most of the time,’’ Shannon said. Nelson "is the lesser of two evils.”
Doug Maddox, 51, an unemployed veteran, and a Republican from Lake Worth. He has not decided but is leaning toward Mack.
"It’s like a race between who’s the tallest midget,’’ he said. “I may end up voting for Mack, not just because he’s a Republican, but because he’s not Bill Nelson.”
Herald/Times writers Brittany Davis and Tia Mitchell contributed to this report.