Jeff Atwater up 38%-34% over Patrick Murphy in extremely early 2016 Florida Senate poll


Yes, of course it’s early. Nobody is thinking about the 2016 election. Right?

Well, if you’re reading this, you have to admit you sort of care. And while the complete field of candidates running for the Florida Senate is very,very incomplete at this time (and we still don’t know if Marco Rubio will run for the seat), there are three candidates whose names are being bandied as being possible nominees at the moment, along with the one official major party entrant – South Florida Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy.

In a new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater leads Murphy, 38-34 percent.

Atwater has yet to officially announce his candidacy, but that’s simply considered a matter of timing at this point. The pollsters also include the state’s Republican Lieutenant Governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Orlando area Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson into the mix. They too, have not announced officially, but are strongly considered to be potential candidates.

The poll shows that much of the state knows very little about our current LG, or Congressman Murphy for that matter.

78 percent have never heard of Lopez-Cantera (even though he ran statewide last year), while 74 percent people haven’t heard of Murphy, which makes sense since he represents only one congressional district in South Florida.

Atwater is by far the best known of the four names in the mix here; 29 percent know who our CFO is, while 58 percent haven’t heard of him.

And Grayson? 62 percent say they haven’t heard of the liberal icon, but amongst those who do, he’s not doing all that spectacular. 20 percent like him. 17 percent don’t.

The poll also shows that Murphy would best Lopez-Cantera today, 35-31 percent.

Lopez-Canters would barely edge out Grayson, 33-32 percent.

And Atwater would handily defeat Grayson today, 42-32 percent.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,087 Florida voters between March 17-28, with a margin of error of +/-3 percent.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


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