June 29, 2016

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

@PatriciaMazzei

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

@PatriciaMazzei

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

@PatriciaMazzei

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

@PatriciaMazzei

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.

June 02, 2016

FAU poll: Clinton leads Trump among Hispanics, but by less than expected

@PatriciaMazzei

Hispanic voters Democrat prefer Hillary Clinton to Republican Donald Trump, a new poll shows, but she needs to win over more of them to reach the sort of support from Latinos that helped propel President Barack Obama to the White House.

The national robopoll, by Florida Atlantic University's Business and Economics Polling Initiative, shows Clinton leading Trump among Hispanics by 23 percentage points, 50-27 percent, with 23 percent undecided. Compare that to Obama, who in 2012 won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote over Mitt Romney's 27 percent.

"Clinton needs to shore up her support among Hispanics," Monica Escaleras, the initiative's director, said in a statement. "Nearly a quarter of them are still undecided, so she needs to win them over to come close to the margins Obama had four years ago."

Trump has riled Hispanics with comments about some Mexican immigrants being "rapists."

The poll was conducted May 1-29 by phone and online. It had a small national sample -- 500 respondents -- and an error margin of plus-or-minus 4.33 percentage points.

May 30, 2016

Poll: Carlos Gimenez leads Miami-Dade mayor's race but needs to boost Democratic support

@PatriciaMazzei

Carlos Gimenez holds an 18-percentage-point lead in his re-election bid as Miami-Dade County mayor, according to a new public-opinion poll, but needs to bolster support among traditional Democratic voters to win the non-partisan race outright.

The Republican mayor is ahead of his two rivals who have raised any campaign cash worth noting, found the survey conducted by Associated Industries of Florida, a Tallahassee-based business organization with a premier polling operation.

Gimenez drew 40 percent support in the poll, followed by 22 percent for Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado and 4 percent for political newcomer Alfred Santamaría. The mayor would need 50 percent-plus-1 in the Aug. 30 election to avoid a November run-off.

Gimenez would have to draw support among Democrats, particularly among African Americans, where his support is weakest. While 54 percent of all voters approve of Gimenez's handling of the job, that number falls to 40 percent among African Americans.

"While only slightly underwater there, his more fragile level of support amongst African Americans is a theme that continued throughout this data set," Ryan Tyson, AIF's director of political operations, wrote in a memo to members. He said several members had asked for a survey of the Miami-Dade race.

Continue reading "Poll: Carlos Gimenez leads Miami-Dade mayor's race but needs to boost Democratic support" »

May 22, 2016

CBS/YouGov poll: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump virtually tied in Florida

via @adamsmithtimes

A lot of political pros are skeptical about the reliability of online polls, but a new CBS/YouGov internet poll shows a virtually tied race in Florida between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. From CBS:

In Florida, a hypothetical matchup between Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump shows Clinton with a one-point edge among those with a preference, 43-42, and in Ohio, Clinton leads Trump by five at 44-39. A hypothetical matchup in Florida is tied between Democrat Bernie Sanders and Trump at 44 percent apiece, while in Ohio, Sanders enjoys a larger nine-point edge over Trump 48-39.

More here.

May 20, 2016

Florida poll: Donald Trump underwater with women, Hispanics

via @adamsmithtimes

That's the bad news for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute poll of 622 frequent voters. The good news? His numbers are improving in must-win Florida and he is neck and neck with similarly unpopular Hillary Clinton. She leads Trump 45 percent to 43 percent in the Chamber's poll.

 

"Right now, no one knows who will win the General Election and will be our next president, but we can tell you it seems to be improving for Trump daily," Marian Johnson, the Chamber's senior vice president for political strategy wrote in a memo to Chamber members. "A disgruntled, angry electorate seems to work in his favor."

--ADAM C. SMITH, TAMPA BAY TIMES

May 18, 2016

Rival polls show Joe Garcia leading Democratic primary for swing Miami congressional seat

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@PatriciaMazzei

The Democratic race for Florida’s most competitive congressional district looks like former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s to lose.

Garcia holds a 25-point lead over rival Annette Taddeo, according to a new internal poll by Garcia’s campaign. That’s 15 percentage points higher than it was in January, when Garcia’s team surveyed the match-up before he launched his candidacy for the 26th congressional district.

“This poll reflects the strong support this community has for Joe Garcia,” campaign spokesman Javier Hernandez said in a statement released with a two-page summary of the latest results. “The people of this district know that when they choose Joe Garcia, their voices will be heard in Washington.”

Garcia bests Taddeo by 53-28 percent, with 19 percent of likely Democratic primary voters undecided , according to the poll conducted by the campaign’s pollster, Pete Brodnitz of Expedition Strategies. The January poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, an outside firm, pegged Garcia’s lead at 34-24 percent, with 42 percent undecided.

The new lead jibes with an internal poll by Taddeo’s campaign shared in its entirety with the Miami Herald. That survey had Garcia ahead 48-27 percent — by 21 points — with 25 percent undecided.

But Taddeo’s poll also showed her doing far better than Garcia once voters learned about Taddeo’s personal background as the Colombian immigrant daughter of a Colombian mother and an American father, and about her positions on issues important to progressives.

More here.

Photo credit: Roberto Koltun, el Nuevo Herald

May 10, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Clinton, Trump running neck-and-neck in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei

The nation’s largest swing state could once again prove to be a decisive battleground between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to a new statewide poll that shows the likely presidential rivals essentially tied in Florida.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found support for Clinton and Trump at 43-42 percent, with a “massive” gender gap between women, who back Clinton, and men, who back Trump. Women favor Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, 48-35 percent, while men prefer Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, 49-36 percent.

Florida’s large Hispanic population could pose problems for Trump, but Clinton’s got her own problems with the state’s white men, according to Peter A. Brown, the poll’s assistant director.

“Republicans’ weakness among minority voters is well known,”he said. “But the reason this race is so close overall is Clinton’s historic weakness among white men. In Florida, she is getting just 25 percent from white men.”

Quinnipiac found the same 43-42 percent Clinton-Trump split in Pennsylvania, and a 39-43 percent Trump edge in Ohio. The university surveyed voters in all three swing states because no candidate since 1960 has won the presidency without winning at least two of the three states.

Though Clinton has virtually assured her nomination, rival and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fares better than she does against Trump in all three states, according to Quinnipiac. He leads 44-42 percent in Florida, 47-41 percent in Pennsylvania and 43-41 percent in Ohio.

More here.