Florida Chamber poll: Marco Rubio, Patrick Murphy walloping opponents

voting booths 08.31 (Large)

Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are poised to win their party’s nomination come Tuesday, but a new poll from the Florida Chamber Political Institute found Florida voters don’t know or don’t like many of the candidates on the ballot.

The statewide poll shows Rubio leads Manatee County Republican Carlos Beruff by nearly 50 percentage points. The poll shows Rubio is at 68 percent, while Beruff is at 19 percent. Ten percent of respondents said they were still undecided.

On the Democratic side, Murphy is beating Rep. Alan Grayson by nearly 30 percentage points. The survey showed Murphy is at 40 percent to Grayson’s 11 percent. There are more undecided voters on the Democratic side; 38 percent of respondents said they were still undecided.

Marian Johnson, the senior vice president of government and political relations at the Chamber, said it is unusual to see so many voters still undecided.

“A week sounds like a short time, but it can be a lifetime for a campaign and provide candidates the opportunity to make solid gains that can improve their outcome,” she said in a statement. “It’s unusual to see this many undecided voters this close to the election, but for candidates, it’s good news. They still have time to move the voters.”

They don’t have that much time. Nearly 1.2 million voters have already cast a ballot ahead of the Aug. 30 primary, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

While Rubio and Murphy are poised to win their primaries, they both face some problems when it comes to how voters view them. The survey found 44 percent of voters polled said they had an unfavorable view of Rubio, while 41 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party.

The survey didn’t include favorability ratings for Murphy, but 46 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party; while 56 percent said they had an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

The Florida Chamber also looked at how Donald Trump is faring in Florida, and found 52 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Republican nominee. That could be problematic for down ticket races across the state.

“The data clearly shows that Donald Trump’s name recognition may impact Republican candidates down ballot — particularly in large metropolitan South Florida areas,” said Andrew Wiggins, the senior director of campaign and elections at the Florida Chamber. “And, digging deep into the numbers, Trump continues to trail Hillary Clinton in South Florida, trailing by 19 points in Miami-Dade and by 15 points in West Palm Beach.”

The survey also found Amendment 4, which deals with tax exemptions for businesses using solar, is poised to pass. The survey found 70 percent of respondents said they would vote for it; while 14 percent said they weren’t supporting it.

The Florida Chamber’s political poll was conducted from Aug. 17 through Aug. 22 by Cherry Communications. The Chamber surveyed 608 likely Florida voters, and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


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