Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., leads Republican Rep. Connie Mack 44 percent to 36 percent in a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday morning.
The race was deadlocked within the margin of error at 41 percent to 40 percent during the previous Quinnipiac poll released on January 11. A November poll showed a similarly close race, as did a late January Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey.
Nelson leads by 14 points among women in the new poll. The race is tied at 41 percent among men. Nelson leads 40 percent to 30 percent among independents.
"President Barack Obama's surge in Florida is helping Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election chances," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown. "Just as President Obama's lead in the presidential race in the Sunshine State is fueled by female voters, so too is Nelson's."
Mack is running in the Republican primary against former Sen. George LeMieux and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister.
The poll of 1,228 registered Florida voters was conducted from March 20-26, and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.