August 25, 2016

Mason-Dixon poll: Rubio 46%, Murphy 43%


Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy might cruise to primary victories in Florida's U.S. Senate race Tuesday, a new poll suggests, but they will be locked in a much tighter contest for the November general election.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey shows Rubio, the incumbent senator, romping primary challenger Carlos Beruff by 61-22 percent. Murphy, a Jupiter congressman, leads Orlando Rep. Alan Grayson by a commanding 55-22 percent.

But in a general-election match-up, Rubio is ahead of Murphy by 46-43 percent -- a virtual tie, given the poll's error margin of 4 percentage points. Rubio leads among Republicans, independents, men, whites and Hispanics. Murphy is ahead among Democrats, women and African-Americans.

Mason-Dixon polled 625 registered voters by phone from Aug. 22-24. The error margin for the primary numbers -- obtained by oversampling 400 likely Democratic voters and 400 likely Republican voters -- is 5 percentage points.

August 16, 2016

Monmouth poll: Clinton, Rubio ahead in Florida


Hillary Clinton holds a 9-percentage-point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll by Monmouth University, which also found Marco Rubio ahead of his two chief rivals for U.S. Senate.

Clinton drew 48 percent support in the poll, compared to Trump's 39 percent. Six percent went to Libertarian Gary Johnson, and 1 percent to Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Clinton's advantage comes from her backing from Hispanic, black and Asian voters, who favor her over Trump by 65-19 percent. She also bests Trump among white women, by 49-39 percent, though he leads among white voters overall, including both college and non-college graduates. She's got stronger support among Democrats (92 percent) than Trump does among Republicans (79 percent). Independent voters are also leaning toward Clinton, by 47-30 percent. 

Most voters still view Clinton and Trump very unfavorably.

"The gender split among white voters in Florida is huge," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. "Men are drawn to Trump's message while women are not. These offsetting factors give Clinton the edge."

In the Senate race, incumbent Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter by 48-43 percent and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando by 50-39 percent. Murphy and Grayson are running in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.

Among poll respondents, 53 percent said they thought Rubio chose to run for re-election to improve his chances to seek the presidency again. Sixty-three percent were unaware Rubio had backed Trump; most respondents didn't care but about 25 percent said the endorsement would make them less likely to vote for Rubio for Senate.

"Rubio's endorsement of Trump could come back to bite him if more voters actually learn about it," Murray said. "It remains to be seen whether the eventual Democratic nominee can turn this to his advantage in the general election campaign."

The telephone poll of 402 likely voters was conducted from Aug. 12-15. It has an error margin if 4.9 percentage points.

August 04, 2016

Suffolk poll: Clinton leads Trump 48%-42% in Florida


Hillary Clinton holds a 6-point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new Suffolk University poll.

Clinton leads Trump 48-42 percent in a head-to-head match-up, the poll shows. Clinton still leads in a four-way poll with 43 percent, followed by Trump's 39 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson's 4 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein's 3 percent.

South Florida is the Democratic nominee's stronghold: Clinton's got a 24-percentage-point advantage over Trump (57-33 percent) in that region. The Republican nominee fared much better in North Florida, where he campaigned Wednesday: Trump is ahead of Clinton there by 54-39 percent.

"Hillary Clinton is leading thanks to southern Florida and women," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. "Trump is even seeing some Republicans holding back at this point while Clinton is a bit stronger among registered Democrats."

Suffolk surveyed 500 likely voters between Aug. 1-3. The poll's error margin is plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.

July 14, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Rubio's lead has widened since entering Senate race


Marco Rubio’s lead over his Democratic rivals has grown into the double digits since hedecided to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll that shows — for now — the Republican incumbent isn't being dragged down in Florida by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The Quinnipiac University survey shows Rubio widening his advantage in potential head-to-head match-ups against Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. Rubio is ahead of Murphy by 13 points (50-37 percent) and of Grayson by 12 points (50-38 percent).

Last month, when Rubio still hadn’t made up his mind about running, he led Murphy by 7 points (47-40 percent) and Grayson by 8 points (48-40 percent).

Murphy, who has the high-profile backing of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other national Democrats, had a particularly difficult end of June. He was hit with a serious of news reports indicating he had repeatedly inflated his résumé.

“Democrats 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,” Peter A. Brown, the poll's director, said in a statement.

The poll didn’t measure Rubio’s popularity against his sole GOP primary rival, Carlos Beruff, who would lose to Murphy by 40-34 percent and be tied with Grayson at 38 percent.

Polls generally tighten in a general election, and Senate races may be affected by the presidential contest at the top of the ticket. The Florida primary is Aug. 30.

More here.

July 13, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Clinton loses Florida lead over trust questions


Democrat Hillary Clinton has lost her lead over Republican Donald Trump in the crucial swing state of Florida, a new poll shows, as voters question whether she is trustworthy.

Trump is now ahead of Clinton by 42-39 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. A month ago, the same survey had Clinton up by 47-39 percent. Her eight-percentage-point advantage has evaporated since FBI Director James Comey slammed the former Secretary of State over her use of private email while in government.

The FBI recommended no charges, and the Justice Department agreed, closing its investigation into Clinton. But the political damage had been done.

Florida poll respondents said Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Clinton, by a wide margin of 50-37 percent. Last month, Trump led in that same measure by only 43-40 percent.

Clinton has also lost ground among no-party affiliation voters in Florida. They broke from Trump by 43-40 percent in the poll, whereas they favored Clinton by 44-35 percent last month.

She's still seen as more intelligent and better prepared to be president than Trump. But they're tied on a question about who has higher moral standards -- where Clinton was ahead in June -- he's still favored by men and her lead with women has gotten smaller.

"In Florida, Donald Trump is getting only 21 percent of the non-white vote," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement. "Although he is winning among white voters, who are mainly Republican, victory in Florida will be a very difficult lift for him if he can’t do better among non-white voters."

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,015 voters from June 30-July 11. The poll has an error margin of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points.

The survey also found Clinton and Trump statistically tied in two other major swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, just days before the Republican National Convention is set to begin in Cleveland. The Democrats will follow the last week of July in Philadelphia.

July 11, 2016

Trump narrowly leads Clinton in Florida, poll by Scott PAC says

via @learyreports

Donald Trump is beating Hillary Clinton in Florida by two percentage points, 47 percent to 45 percent, according to a poll released Monday by a group tied to Gov. Rick Scott.

Other recent polls in Florida have shown the reverse, so the larger take away is that Florida remains competitive.

“Four months out from the 2016 presidential election, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are badly upside-down by image in the state of Florida,” reads a polling memo from OnMessage. “That said, Clinton fares worse than Trump sitting 13 points in the red at 42% favorable to 55% unfavorable compared to Trump’s -11 (43%/54%). Among Independents, Clinton’s image falls to -20 (36% fav/56 unfav) while Trump fares better, in comparison, at just -8 (43% fav/51% unfav).”

“As the old adage goes, ballot follows image, and this is currently the case in Florida as Donald Trump edges out Hillary Clinton on the presidential ballot, 47% to 45%.

The poll was conducted for Let’s Get to Work by OnMessage Inc. Telephone interviews were conducted June 26-28 2016. This survey consists of 800 likely voters in Florida and was stratified to reflect historic voter trends. The margin of error is +/-3.46%.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

June 29, 2016

Poll: Marco Rubio leads Carlos Beruff by 64 (!) percentage points


Yes, you read that right.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has a whopping, 64-percentage-point lead over Republican primary challenger Carlos Beruff, according to a new poll commissioned for Associated Industries of Florida.

Rubio trounces Beruff 71-7 percent, with 18 percent of voters undecided, the poll found. Fifty-five percent of Rubio supporters are "hard" supporters, while 16 percent are "leaning" toward voting for him.

A similar AIF survey in April found 50 percent of respondents would back Rubio, who was then not running for re-election and held a 42-point margin over his nearest competitor.

Now Rubio is formally a candidate. And Beruff is the only significant rival he's got left. (Two others on the ballot, Ernie Rivera and Dwight Mark Anthony Young, polled at 2 percent each in the latest AIF poll.) 

Voters also view Rubio far more favorably than Beruff and than presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who won't be on the August ballot. Rubio's favorable-unfavorable numbers are 71-21 percent, compared to Trump's 62-32 percent and Beruff's 11-9 percent.

Rubio's favorability rating is even higher among Hispanics: 83-7 percent, compared to Trumps's 44-46 percent and Beruff's 10-15 percent. That means Trump and Beruff are underwater by a net 2 percent and 5 percent among Hispanics, respectively.

It's the first survey conducted since Rubio declared for re-election. The survey was conducted by TelOpinion Research for Tallahassee-based AIF, a business group that has a strong track record in recent election cycles. The poll of 750 likely voters conducted June 27-28 has an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points. A June 25-27 poll conducted for News 13/Bay News 9 found Rubio with 63 percent support, followed by "undecided" at 13 percent and Beruff at 11 percent.

The latest AIF sample includes so-called "surge" voters, the voters who typically don't vote in GOP primaries but nevertheless cast ballots March 15.

"When the dust settled and we were able to analyze the final electorate, we found that voters with little to no history of voting in regular Republican primaries...made up 1.2 million of 2.3 million Republicans that voted," AIF political chief Ryan Tyson wrote in a memo to the group's members. "This turnout dwarfed the last two regular Republican primaries where 1.2 million and 1 million Republicans showed up for the regular 2012 and 2014 primaries."

The surge voters aren't necessarily new to politics, because they tend to vote in general elections. The Aug. 30 primary is a different beast; AIF asked voters if they intend to vote then.

--with Mary Ellen Klas

June 07, 2016

PPP poll: If he ran again, Marco Rubio would face tough re-elect


Marco Rubio isn't a shoo-in if he were to seek re-election to the U.S. Senate, according to a new survey by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Rubio, a Republican, would trail Democratic front-runner Patrick Murphy 44-43 percent, the poll found. Murphy would also lead in hypothetical match-ups against Republicans Carlos Beruff (43-31 percent) and David Jolly (44-29 percent).

If Democrat Alan Grayson were the nominee instead, Rubio would be ahead 43-38 percent. Like Murphy, Grayson would do better than Beruff (41-32 percent) and Jolly (40-33 percent). The other Republicans running are Ron DeSantis, Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Todd Wilcox.

When asked if Rubio should run again, 39 percent of respondents said he should, compared to 51 percent who said he shouldn't.

Rubio has said he doesn't plan to run again, though qualifying doesn't end until June 24. He intends to fundraise that evening for Lopez-Cantera, a longtime friend.

The PPP survey also found Rubio underwater in approval ratings, with 32 percent of Florida voters giving him a thumbs-up on his job performance and 54 percent giving him a thumbs-down. 

"Those numbers make him one of the least popular Senators in the country," the pollsters wrote.

As for the presidential race, PPP found a toss-up, with Republican Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton 41-40 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson garnered 4 percent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein drew 2 percent.

"If she can get the party unified around her after officially clinching the nomination she should have a slight edge in Florida, but for now [Bernie] Sanders supporters are showing some reluctance," according to PPP.

The firm surveyed 737 registered voters June 2-5. The poll's error margin is plus-or-minus is 3.6 percentage points.

June 06, 2016

Mason-Dixon poll: Half of Florida voters want Marco Rubio to run for Senate again


Nearly half of Florida voters want U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to seek re-election, according to a new poll that finds a messy Republican primary field to replace him if he doesn't.

The survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found 49 percent of respondents -- including 77 percent of Republicans -- think Rubio should run for a second term.

"If he decides to do so, he would clearly be the strongest candidate, as none of the current contenders appears to have caught fire with state voters," pollster J. Brad Coker said in a statement.

More than 40 percent of voters are undecided in the Democratic and Republican primaries. On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter leads U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando by 31-23 percent, with first-time candidate Pam Keith at 3 percent.

On the Republican side, five candidates remain mostly unknown. Sarasota developer Carlos Beruff is ahead with 17 percent, followed by U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores with 13 percent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach with 10 percent, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami with 9 percent and Orlando defense contractor Todd Wilcox with 2 percent.

The poll's error margin is plus-or-minus 5 percentage points. Mason-Dixon surveyed 625 registered voters from May 31-June 2, over-sampling 400 likely Democratic voters and 400 likely Republican voters for the Senate-race questions.

Rubio chose not to run for re-election in order to run for president. But he's no longer vying for the White House, and he's got no clear successor. Candidates can qualify for the race through June 24.

June 03, 2016

Mason-Dixon poll: Clinton 45%, Trump 42% in Florida


Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 3 percentage points in Florida, according to a new poll that shows for the first time that a third-party candidate might draw support away from Trump.

Libertarian Gary Johnson garnered 6 percent support in the new Mason-Dixon poll, mostly from white Republican and independent voters. Clinton is ahead of Trump 45-42 percent, with 7 percent undecided.

Clinton is backed by 68 percent of Hispanics, but both she and Trump remain broadly disliked. Forty-seven percent of respondents view her unfavorably, and 53 percent feel the same way about Trump -- about half the electorate in both cases.

Mason-Dixon took a look at whether picking a Floridian as running mate would help either candidate. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wouldn't help Clinton much. Gov. Rick Scott, on the other hand, "could be toxic" for Trump, pollster J. Brad Coker said in a statement, with 40 percent of Florida voters declaring themselves less likely to vote for Trump with Scott on the ticket.

The poll of 625 registered voters was conducted May 31-June 2. Its error margin is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.