U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio would be favored to win if he were to seek reelection next year rather than run for president, a new Florida poll has found.
The survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows the Republican with ample leads over two potential Democratic challengers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston (53-36 percent) and Patrick Murphy of Jupiter (50-38 percent).
While Rubio's advantage is hardly surprising -- he is a well-known incumbent -- it's interesting to note that Murphy polled better than the better known Wasserman Schultz. Thirty-six percent of respondents viewed the congresswoman and Democratic National Committee chair unfavorably and 19 percent unfavorably. Murphy's unfavorable number was only 3 percent.
While Murphy has indicated he plans to run regardless of whether Rubio seeks the presidency, Wasserman Schultz has not.
Should Rubio leave the Senate seat, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater would lead the GOP race 45-35 percent over Wasserman Schultz and 46-32 percent of Murphy.
The poll did not include any other possible Republican candidates, though several are said to be mulling runs if the seat opens. The telephone survey of 800 registered voters was conducted from March 3-5. It has an error margin of 3.5 percentage points.