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.