GOP senators lead in key swing states
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Three vulnerable Republican senators hold significant leads over their Democratic challengers, a new Quinnipiac University poll found.


In Florida, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization 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 Rep. Val Demings officially enters Senate race against Rubio Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio Demings planning to run for Senate instead of Florida governor 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 PortmanOvernight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken McConnell: Republicans 'united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling' 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 TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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 ClintonPennsylvania GOP authorizes subpoenas in election probe We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader 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.