Campaign

Poll: Rubio leads Demings by 7 points in Florida

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) begins his bid for a third term in office with a lead over his chief Democratic rival, though one that is not overwhelming in a perennial swing state.

A new survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found Rubio leading Rep. Val Demings (D) 49 percent to 42 percent, with another 9 percent of voters undecided between the two.

Rubio leads by wide margins among men, those over 50 years old and white voters. He holds a 5-point lead among Hispanics, a critical and diverse constituency that is frequently divided between the two parties in Florida. Among independent voters who do not align with either political party, Rubio leads by a 47 percent to 37 percent margin.

Demings leads by 7 points among women, and she claims a huge majority of African American voters, the poll shows.

Rubio won election with 49 percent of the vote in a three-way field in 2010, after then-Gov. Charlie Crist left the GOP to run as an Independent. He won reelection in 2016 with 52 percent of the vote ahead of then-Rep. Patrick Murphy (D).

Both Rubio and Demings, who was the Orlando police chief before winning election to Congress in 2016, have been among the most successful fundraisers of the cycle so far. The most recent reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Rubio has raised $24 million and has $10.6 million in the bank, while Demings has pulled in $20 million and has more than $8.1 million on hand.

President Biden, who narrowly lost Florida’s electoral votes in 2020, may prove a drag on his party’s hopes of ousting the two-term incumbent. Just 40 percent of Florida voters approve of his job performance, while 55 percent disapprove.

Forty-four percent of Florida voters see Rubio favorably, while 37 percent see him in an unfavorable light. Demings is seen favorably by just 27 percent of voters, and 11 percent see her unfavorably. Nearly a third of Florida voters do not recognize her name, the poll found.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll surveyed 625 registered voters in Florida from Feb. 7 to 10. It carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags Charlie Crist Florida Florida midterms 2022 Joe Biden Marco Rubio Patrick Murphy Val Demings

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