Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy by 50-37 percent — a 6-point shift in the Republican incumbent's favor since Quinnipiac's last poll of Florida voters in June. And Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson by 50-38 percent, a 4-point shift since last month.and more »
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is widening his lead over the two major Florida Democrats who seek to unseat him, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy by 50-37 percent â€” a 6-point shift in the Republican incumbentâ€™s favor since Quinnipiacâ€™s last poll of Florida voters in June. And Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson by 50-38 percent, a 4-point shift since last month.Story Continued Below
The poll indicates voters donâ€™t mind that Rubio broke his pledge to not run for his Senate seat if he lost his bid for the White House this year.
â€œDemocrats made fun of Sen. Marco Rubio when he opted for a last-minute re-election bid in Florida, but he may be on the way to a last laugh, having quickly opened double digit leads over both Democratic challengers,â€ said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The numbers underscore why Republican elites in Florida and Washington urged Rubio to reconsider reelection. The only other Republican left in the Senate race, little-known developer Carlos Beruff, trails Murphy by 6 percentage points and ties Grayson, at 38 percent. The primary is Aug. 30.
Quinnipiac also surveyed two other swing states at the same time and found that Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman was comfortably ahead of former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland by 7 points, while Sen. Pat Toomey led Democrat Katie McGinty by 10 points.
â€œThe numbers seem to be breaking the Republican way in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, at least when it comes to the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania,â€ Brown said.
Whatâ€™s remarkable about Quinnipiacâ€™s latest survey in Florida is the abrupt shift in Republicansâ€™ favor overall. The presidential portion of the poll, released Wednesday, showed Hillary Clinton marginally trailing Donald Trump by 2 percentage points â€” a net 11-point shift in the Republicanâ€™s favor that Brown partly attributed to the just-ended federal investigation of the Democratâ€™s handling of her Secretary of Stateâ€™s email account.
President Obamaâ€™s approval rating has nose-dived. Last month, 54 percent of Florida voters approved and 42 percent disapproved of the presidentâ€™s job performance. Those numbers have reversed, with 44 percent now approving and 53 percent disapproving of the job Obamaâ€™s doing.
Rubioâ€™s Democratic Senate counterpart, Bill Nelson, has a 42 percent job-approval rating while 29 percent disapprove. But thatâ€™s a net shift of 17 points against Nelson since June, when his approval-disapproval numbers were 52-22 percent.
Rubioâ€™s approval-disapproval numbers remained about the same: 46â€“43 percent (they were 45-44 percent in June).
The bilingual Rubio does better with non-white voters than most Republican candidates, but he still trails Murphy by 48-34 percent among minorities. Non-Hispanic white voters support Rubio by 59â€“31 percent over Murphy. A big key to Rubioâ€™s overall position: heâ€™s winning independents and has a stronger base of support in his own party.
â€œThe breadth of Sen. Rubio's lead against Rep. Patrick Murphy, who has the backing of the Democratic leadership, is impressive,â€ Brown said. He has a 19-point margin among independent voters and scores 10 points better among Republicans than Murphy does among Democrats.â€
Quinnipiacâ€™s survey of 1,015 Florida voters was conducted June 30-July 11 and has an error margin of 3.1 points.
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