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49% of Floridians disapprove of Marco Rubio’s Senate performance

Marco Rubio appears to be in free fall in Florida when it comes to how the voters feel about him, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Less than two months after registered Republicans repudiated his presidential candidacy in the state’s presidential primary, 49 percent of all Floridians disapprove of his performance in the Senate, with just 42 percent supporting him. Among independents, 56 percent disapprove of his performance.

Rubio is in the twilight of his first term in the Senate, having declared a year ago when he ran for president that he would not run for re-election to the seat he won spectacularly in 2010. He’s maintained that stance, despite overtures after his presidential dreams crumbled when Donald Trump crushed him by 19 percentage points in March.

Rubio’s Senate colleague, Democrat Bill Nelson, has a 47 percent approval rating, with 26 percent disapproving, and 28 percent not answering.

Meanwhile, although Gov. Rick Scott was able to garner enough votes to beat Alex Sink in 2010 and Charlie Crist in 2014, he consistently has been underwater in public opinion polls since being elected, and the Q poll released Wednesday is no exception, with 49 percent disapproving of the job the Florida governor is currently doing, and 40 percent supporting him. Sixty-five percent of Republicans support Scott, while 73 percent of Democrats oppose him. Independents come down similar to the entire poll, with 51 percent disapproving, and 39 percent supporting him.

President Barack Obama is underwater as well, with 48 percent supporting him and 50 percent disapproving of his performance. Like Scott, Obama has often been underwater in Quinnipiac polls over the years, despite the fact that he won the Sunshine State twice when he was up for election.

However, Floridians back the president in his attempt to get his Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, an up-or-down vote from the U.S. Senate. By a 51 percent to 33 percent margin, Floridians support Garland’s nomination to the high court, and by a 54 percent to 40 percent margin, Floridians say the Senate should consider his nomination now, and not wait until the next president is elected in November, which is the current attitude of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Quinnipiac survey was conducted from April 27-May 8, 2016 throughout Florida. Responses are reported for 1,051 self-identified registered voters with a margin of sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

Written By

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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