GOP senators lead in key swing states
© Getty Images

Three vulnerable Republican senators hold significant leads over their Democratic challengers, a new Quinnipiac University poll found.


In Florida, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE leads Rep. Patrick Murphy, the leading Democratic candidate, 50 to 37 percent. Rubio also holds a 12-point lead over Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE, another Democrat vying for the seat, outpacing Grayson 50 to 38 percent.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) also holds a double-digit lead against his Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, leading her 49 to 39 percent.

And in Ohio, Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way GOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE is up 7 points over former Gov. Ted Strickland, 47 to 40 percent.

The numbers seem to push back against those who say that presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE is imperiling vulnerable down-ballot Republicans with his divisive rhetoric and campaign style. 

"Many talking heads have suggested that with Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, Republican Senate candidates might suffer," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll. 

"But at least in these three key states, the Republican Senate candidates are running ahead of Trump and don't seem to be hurt by their shared party label." 

In each of the Senate races, the GOP candidates lag among minority voters, though all perform significantly better than Trump. 

Rubio and Toomey are also outpacing their party's presumptive nominee among female voters, with Portman being the only incumbent trailing in the demographic, falling behind Strickland, 46 to 41 percent.

When Quinnipiac released a survey on Wednesday showing Trump up by 3 points over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 The Hill's Campaign Report: High stakes at last Democratic debate before Super Tuesday MORE in Florida after a double-digit surge in less than a month, some strategists publicly questioned the poll’s reliability.

“There is no reason for Trump to have an 11-point swing in Florida in a month. No reason whatsoever, so I would really consider the Quinnipiac poll an outlier and would be very hesitant to seriously analyze it,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak told The Hill on Wednesday.