November 07, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Florida too close to call in presidential race; Rubio leads Murphy

via @learyreports

Hillary Clinton has the slimmest of leads in Florida over Donald Trump heading into Election Day, taking 46 percent of the vote to Trump's 45 percent, according to a Qunnipiac University poll released this morning.

In the Senate race,  Marco Rubio leads Patrick Murphy 50 – 43 percent.

“U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is not getting the support a Democrat needs among women and non-white voters to overcome Sen. Marco Rubio’s lead among men and white voters,” assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said.

Clinton has 47 percent of Florida voters who already have cast ballots, with 43 percent for Trump.

Independent likely voters are split with 45 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump.

Trump leads 86 – 7 percent among Republicans, while Clinton takes Democrats 85 – 10 percent.

White voters back Trump 57 – 34 percent while non-white voters back Clinton 68 – 23

percent.

Women go to Clinton 50 – 42 percent, while Trump leads among men 48 – 40 percent.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

November 04, 2016

Outside money floods Rubio-Murphy race thanks to high court's Citizens United ruling

  Senate 2016 Rubio_Ordo (1)-082516

Individuals, corporations, advocacy groups and super-PACs from outside Florida are pumping money into the close Senate contest between incumbent Marco Rubio and challenger Patrick Murphy.

More than $48 million in independent expenditures, most of it from outside the Sunshine State, has been spent on the Rubio-Murphy race in which the Miami Republican has held about a 3 point lead in recent days, according to the polling average on realclearpolitics.com.

Only five other U.S. Senate campaigns -- in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio -- have received more money from outside their campaigns.

Every state except Nevada features incumbent GOP senators who, like Rubio, are trying to fend off Democratic challengers. Nevada's race is for an open Senate seat vacated by the retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Those six races will likely decide whether the Republican Party retains the Senate majority it gained in the November 2014 elections.

In addition to money contributed by outside groups, Rubio's campaign had raised $12.48 million through Oct. 19 while Murphy's campaign had raised $13.72 million, for a total of $26.2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.

That figure combined with the independent expenditures puts an overall price tag of almost $75 million on the Rubio-Murphy Senate race.

In Florida's Senate race, outside groups have made 14 TV, media and digital ad buys totaling at least $1 million, all but one of them targeting Murphy.

The biggest buy was made by the Senate Leadership Fund on Oct. 27 for $3.16 million.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a spinoff of the American Crossroads super PAC started by former President George W. Bush senior adviser Karl Rove, has spent $81.7 million in the current election cycle.

Among all super PACs in the country, only the liberal Priorities USA Action and the conservative Right to Rise USA have spent more.

Other groups based outside Florida that have spent big against Murphy are the American Future Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Republican Senate Committee and the National Rifle Association.

The only Florida-centric organization with significant expenditures opposing Murphy is the Florida First Project, a super PAC created in June on the day Rubio did an about-switch and announced he was running for Senate re-election after having declined during his earlier presidential bid.

So-called "super" political action committees are free to collect unlimited amounts of money as long as the donors' identities and the amounts of their contributions.

The flood of independent expenditures by super PACs has followed a landmark 2010 Supreme Court ruling, in a case brought by the conservative watchdog group Citizens United, that described such spending as expressions of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

However, direct contributions to political campaigns remain limited by campaign-finance law.

Photo credit: Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 27, 2016

UNF poll: Clinton leads Trump in Florida, 43-39 percent

via @learyreports

Hillary Clinton has a four point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll from University of North Florida.

In a four-way race, Clinton takes 43 percent of the vote vs. 39 percent for Trump, 6 percent for Gary Johnson and 3 percent for Jill Stein. Nine percent of voters are undecided.

Head-to-head, Clinton’s lead shrinks to two percentage points – 46 to 44.

“There is almost no change from our poll in early October in which Clinton led Trump by three percentage points, 41 – 38, in the four-way contest, but the head-to-head results have tightened considerably,” said Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory.

“This poll has an even distribution of Democrats and Republicans, however in this election Democrats are outperforming their historical norms in absentee and early voting. If this trend continues through Election Day, Clinton could expand this margin and easily win Florida.”

The Real Clear Politics average has Clinton up only 1.6 percentage points in a four-way race. That average does not include the UNF poll.

In the Senate race, Marco Rubio leads Patrick Murphy, 49 percent to 43 percent.

“Rubio is maintaining his six percentage point lead from our poll earlier in the month. Rubio can attribute his lead to support from NPAs and more Democrats willing to cast a ballot for him than Republicans are for Murphy,” Binder said in a release.

The majority of Florida likely voters, 73 percent, will vote “yes” on Amendment 2, which allows for the medical use of marijuana.

“This is down four percentage points from our last poll, but still well above the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Interestingly, and just like in our last poll, all age groups and parties support Amendment 2,” Binder noted.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

October 23, 2016

October 17, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Independents shift to Clinton in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei

The second presidential debate and a string of accusations of sexual misconduct have taken a toll on Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll that shows crucial independent voters swinging to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton bests Trump by 48-44 percent in the Quinnipiac University released Monday, with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein drawing 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

The Democrat’s gains have come from independents, Quinnipiac found. They now favor Clinton by 46-38 percent — a clear shift from Quinnipiac’s Oct. 3 poll, when Trump led among independents by 42-39 percent.

“Hillary Clinton is holding a thin lead in Florida because she is winning the battle for independent voters and holding her lead among women, non-white voters and her Democratic base,” the poll’s assistant, Peter A. Brown, said in a statement. “Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, considered the alternative to Clinton or Trump, is not catching fire in the Sunshine State.”

Clinton is winning a larger share of Democrats — 91 percent — than Trump is winning Republicans — 85 percent. She also holds a 15-point lead over Trump among women (54-39 percent) than Trump’s 9-point lead over Clinton among men (49-40 percent). White voters prefer Trump by 57-34 percent, while non-white voters favor Clinton by 73-19 percent.

The poll of 660 likely voters was conducted Oct. 10-16. It has an error margin of plus-or-minus 3.8 percentage points.

More here.

October 07, 2016

Univision poll: Clinton grows lead among Florida Hispanics

Campaign 2016 Debate
@PatriciaMazzei

Hillary Clinton has grown her lead among Florida Hispanics in the past month, according to a new poll that for the first time shows the Democrat tied with Donald Trump among Republican-leaning Cuban Americans.

Latinos prefer Clinton by 58-28 percent, according to the new Univision poll, up from 52-29 percent in September. Libertarian Gary Johnson drew 4 percent, down 2 percentage points from last month, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein remained at 2 percent.

Clinton is now approaching the 60-percent threshold President Barack Obama hit with Florida Hispanics against Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney won 39 percent of them; Obama ended up winning the state by a single percentage point.

Part of the reason why: Clinton and Trump are dead even among Cuban Americans, with 41 percent support each. Exit polls in 2012 showed Obama and Romney essentially split that vote.

That’s a “tremendous disadvantage” for Republicans who have historically relied on older Cuban Americans in Florida, said Anthony Williams, special projects director at the Coconut Grove-based Bendixen & Amandi International, which helped conduct the poll.

“As the historic exiles are unfortunately dying off, they’re being replaced by Cuban Americans who were born in the United States — who are much more progressive in their politics,” he said.

Last week, Newsweek reported Trump’s hotel and casino company broke the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba in 1998 — a potentially serious problem for exile hardliners who fiercely back the embargo. Clinton has already hit Trump over the revelation in Florida radio ads in English and Spanish.

Trump visited Miami's Little Havana neighborhood two weeks ago to meet with a small group of Cuban Americans. But they were invited guests who had already been persuaded to vote for him, not undecided voters typically courted by presidential nominees ahead of a general election. Trump has yet to run a single political ad in Spanish.

Bendixen & Amandi and The Tarrance Group surveyed 400 registered voters in English and Spanish from Sept. 26-Oct. 4. The poll’s error margin is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points.

The survey also found Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio essentially tied among Hispanics in the U.S. Senate race, with Murphy edging Rubio by 46-45 percent. Last month, Rubio led by 46-39 percent. Murphy would likely still need a bigger margin among Hispanics — who outside of Cuban Americans tend to vote Democratic — to defeat the Republican incumbent.

More here.

Photo credit: David Goldman, Associated Press

October 06, 2016

University of North Florida poll: Clinton leads Trump in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Florida since the first presidential debate was held last week, according to a new poll.

Clinton bests Trump by 47-40 percent in the survey by the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Lab. In a four-way race with third-party candidates, Clinton is ahead with 41 percent, compared to Trump's 38 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson's 6 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein's 3 percent. Ten percent remain undecided.

"The size of Clinton's lead drops when the additional candidates (Johnson and Stein) are listed in the question. This suggests that the Clinton campaign should perhaps perceive Johnson as a threat, who is taking more votes from her than Trump," said Michael Binder, the Public Opinion Research Lab's faculty director. "While neither candidate has high favorability for the majority of likely voters in Florida, Clinton's net negative 9 percent is better than Trump's net negative 23 percent."

According to Binder's poll memo, 46 percent of respondents who said they plan to vote for Trump said it was a vote against Clinton, compared to 43 percent of those voting for Clinton who said their vote would be against Trump. Binder called that almost even split between voters saying they're voting for a candidate versus voting against another one is "unusual in a presidential election."

Only 10 percent of respondents said immigrants in the country illegally should be made felons and sent back to their home countries. A plurality -- 49 percent -- favored letting them stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for citizenship, a position supported in the poll by Democrats, Republicans and independents.

UNF polled 696 likely voters, identified from the Florida voter file, from Sept. 27-Oct. 4. The poll's error margin is 3.8 percentage points. It's the university's first general election poll, so there is no earlier baseline with which to compare it.

October 05, 2016

Latino Decisions poll: 74% of Florida's Puerto Ricans plan to vote for Clinton

via @adamsmithtimes

Two new polls of Hispanic voters in Florida underscore Donald Trump's steep challenge in carrying must-win Florida -- and point to an ominous trend facing Republicans hoping to win America's biggest battleground state in the future.

The Republican-leaning business group Associated Industries Florida polled 600 Hispanic voters in Florida Oct. 1 through Oct. 3 and found Hillary Clinton crushing Trump 54 percent to 30 percent. Compare that to four years ago, when Mitt Romney lost Florida after winning just 39 percent of the Hispanic vote in Florida.

What's more, a seperate poll of the fastest-growing segment of Florida's Hispanic electorate -- Puerto Ricans - found three quarters of the state's Puerto Rican voters planning to vote for Clinton and just 17 percent for Trump. The Republican nominee is virtually toxic among Puerto Ricans with 78 percent having an unfavorable view of Trump and 15 percent favorable, according to the poll of 503 Puerto Rican voters by the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund and Latino Decisions. Clinton was viewed favorably by nearly seven in 10.

"When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists, Puerto Ricans understand he is talking about them too. He is talking about us," Puerto Rican U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in a conference call about the poll.

Continue reading "Latino Decisions poll: 74% of Florida's Puerto Ricans plan to vote for Clinton" »

AIF poll: Among Florida Hispanics, Trump keeps trailing and Rubio keeps leading

@PatriciaMazzei

Donald Trump's Florida campaign could learn a thing or two from Marco Rubio about how to win over Hispanic voters.

A new poll shows Trump continues to badly trail Hillary Clinton among the key Latino demographic. She leads by 54-30 percent in the Associated Industries of Florida poll, a 24-point difference.

In contrast, Marco Rubio still holds an advantage over Patrick Murphy by 48-39 percent, according to the AIF poll conducted by TelOpinion Research. Murphy is unknown to many Hispanics, especially compared to the bilingual Rubio, who is Cuban American, an incumbent and ran for president.

The AIF poll of 600 likely Hispanic voters was conducted Oct. 1-3 and has an error margin of 4 percentage points. Respondents were interviewed in English and Spanish.

In a memo to AIF's members, political chief Ryan Tyson noted a significant number of Hispanic Republicans remains undecided.

 "If they come home to him, it's possible that Trump will perform closer to Romney's number with Florida Hispanics in 2012 which was around ~40%," Tyson wrote in a memo to AIF's members obtained by the Miami Herald. "However, the positive outlook ends for him there as Trump is down ~44% with non-Cuban Hispanics who will make up half of the likely Hispanic electorate. Trump will not win Hispanics here in Florida."

Polls show Trump lagging behind where Mitt Romney stood in 2012 Florida exit polls among Hispanics, African Americans and whites -- with more than a month to go in the campaign.

"We still have, I think, a little bit of expansion with both Latino and African-Americans," a senior Clinton official told the Miami Herald. "He's way behind with Hispanics compared to Romney."

A Univision poll conducted last month by Bendixen & Amandi International and The Tarrance Group also showed Clinton ahead of Trump among Florida Hispanics by 24 points.

Most Hispanic Republicans are Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade County -- Rubio's home turf, and the only county Trump lost in the March 15 presidential primary. Murphy hired Hispanic strategist Freddy Balsera two weeks ago to help him with Latino outreach.

President Barack Obama 's job approval among Florida Hispanics was 67 percent -- about 17 percent higher than for the overall electorate, showing he remains a strong Clinton surrogate. A planned Obama rally in Miami Gardens on Wednesday was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.

October 03, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Debate helped Clinton in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei

Hillary Clinton's strong debate improved her standing in Florida against Donald Trump, according to a new poll published a week after the two presidential candidates faced off for the first time.

Clinton now leads Trump by 46-41 percent, the Quinnipiac University survey shows -- a significant improvement for Clinton, who tied Trump at 43 percent in the same poll published Sept. 8.

Florida was the only swing state polled by the university post-debate where Clinton's numbers moved. Quinnipiac polled 545 likely Florida voters from Sept. 27-Oct. 2. The poll has an error margin of 4.2 percentage points.

"Although Hillary Clinton clearly won the first debate with Donald Trump, this victory did her only little good in her race for the White House,” said assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said in a statement. "Likely voters in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the four largest and most important Swing States seem little closer to an Election Day decision."

Quinnipiac found two third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, polling at 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in Florida. In a head-to-head match-up, Clinton leads Trump 49-44 percent.

Asked who won the debate, 56 percent of Florida poll respondents picked Clinton, compared to 21 percent who picked Trump. Of those who handed Clinton the victory, 27 percent were Republican.

"One thing is for sure: Many voters don't have to think a presidential candidate is a good debater to support their candidate in 2016," Brown said. "In Florida, likely voters give Hillary Clinton a 35 percentage point margin for winning the debate, but only a five-point margin in the election matchup."