Two new polls show Marco Rubio still leads Patrick Murphy in Florida Senate race


A series of recent polls have shown a tightening in the U.S. Senate race in Florida, but two new surveys released Wednesday show Marco Rubio still very much on command.

A Bloomberg Politics poll has Rubio leading Patrick Murphy by one of the biggest margins yet, 51 percent to 41 percent. A Bay News 9/News 13 poll has the race closer, with Rubio leading Murphy, 45 percent to 41 percent.

The Bloomberg poll surveyed 985 Florida registered voters from Oct. 21-24. The margin of error is 3.2 percent.

It shows Rubio’s edge over Murphy with independent voters is significant, 51 percent to 36 percent.

His biggest margins are from voters in the Panhandle (+26 points), Catholics (+24 points) and those without a college degree (+13 points). Interestingly, the two are tied with Hispanics, which has been a vulnerable point for Murphy in other Senate polls.

One of Murphy’s most frequent criticisms of Rubio is that he is unable to commit to serving a full six-year term if re-elected, and is still focused on making another run at the White House in 2020. The Bloomberg poll shows most people agree with that contention, and yet are still supporting him. When asked, “Do you think Rubio’s decision to run for Senate is more about serving the people of Florida, or more about preparing to run for president in 2020?”, 49 percent say he is gunning for the White House, while 27 percent say he is all about serving in the Senate, and 24 percent weren’t sure (Rubio said at last week’s debate that he would serve all six years in office, “God willing”).

Meanwhile, in the Bay News 9/News 13 that shows Rubio up over Murphy 45 percent to 41percent, the poll was conducted by SurveyUSA from Oct. 20-24 of 1,251 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.3 percent.

In a major difference from the Bloomberg poll, the Bay News 9/News 13 poll shows Murphy leading Rubio among independents, 38 percent to 28 percent. Another 11 percent prefer either the Libertarian candidate or one of the other non-party-affiliated candidates, and 23 percent are undecided.

Rubio is leading among Cuban, Hispanic, and white voters, while Murphy is doing favorably among black and Asian voters.

Rubio and Murphy will engage tonight at 7 p.m. in their second and final debate of the campaign season.

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]


  • DK

    October 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    We cannot afford another lost decade due to Republican bigotry, obstruction, wasted money on anti-Hillary scandals, and tax cuts for the rich. Florida must vote for progress and sanity by voting for Democrats up and down the ticket, locally and statewide. The party that nominated the phony con artist Trump is unfit to lead. When Hillary was helping end school segregation and leading legal aid for the poor efforts in the 70s, you boy Trump was getting sued for his racist housing practices. When she was helping pioneer early childhood education in the 80s, the greedy corrupt sleazebag Trump was ripping off small business contractors. When she was marching in gay Pride parades and getting millions of poor kids healthcare in the 90s (including me, so she does care about me — you’re wrong lol) , the welfare queen tax cheat Trump was outsourcing the manufacture of his tacky clothes to China and bankrupting companies. When she was securing help for 9/11 first responders in the 00s, Trump was hiring illegal immigrants over Americans and scamming working people with a fake university. When she was negotiating cease fires that prevented war, helping catch Osama bin Laden, brokering landmark climate change deals, making the State Dept the first govt agency to extend full benefits to gay families, and instutitng the passport rule change allowing trans Americans to get govt ID for the first time, Trump was tweeting neo-Nazi propaganda leading a racist birther campaign to delegitimize the first black President.

    Don’t fall for Republicans’ 25-year anti-Hillary, anti-Obama smear campaign that has wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars instead of improving our lives. It’s time to vote for change. #UniteBlue #StrongerTogether

    • Al

      October 28, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Ha, anyone can throw in a cut and paste answer . Start thinking for yourself.

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