Mason-Dixon poll gives Marco Rubio the edge against Val Demings in Florida’s U.S. Senate contest

demings vs. rubio
Similar to other polls, Rubio is up by 7 on the leading Democratic foe.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio holds a 7-point lead over Rep. Val Demings, the presumed Democratic frontrunner hoping to take him on in the November General Election.

That’s according to a new Mason-Dixon Florida poll. Rubio holds a 49% to 42% advantage over Demings among registered voters in the new survey.

That is consistent with spreads seen in other polls taken in the contest.

The findings don’t offer entirely good news for Florida’s two-term Senator. He’s below 50%, never a safe place for an incumbent. And Demings has a sizable lack of recognition early in the year, while Rubio has a significant unfavorable recognition. That means she has more room for growth than he does.

“An incumbent running below 50% often leaves the door open for a challenger to significantly tighten a race under the right circumstances,” Mason-Dixon pollsters stated in a news release.

Demings has her own challenges, starting with the unpopularity of President Joe Biden, which would need to improve significantly to offer her any boost. The poll found 40% of Floridians approve of his job performance, and 55% disapprove.

The poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy was conducted Feb. 7-10, with live phone interviews of 625 registered Florida voters. The pollsters reported it has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

In November, a St. Pete Polls survey of Florida registered voters gave Rubio 51% and Demings 44%. A January poll by USA TODAY Network and Suffolk University found Rubio with an 8-point lead, 49% to 41%.

The new Mason-Dixon Florida poll found Rubio’s strengths are among men (with 58% to Demings’ 35%), people age 50 or older (51% to 40%), among White voters (58% to 35%), and among people living in the Republican-dominated regions of North Florida (58% to 33%) and Southwest Florida (55% to 36%).

Demings’ strengths are in Rubio’s home region of Democratic-dominated Southeast Florida (with 53% to Rubio’s 40%) and among Black voters (82% to 7%).

The splits are closer, but Rubio leads Demings in her home region of Central Florida (47% to 39%), in Tampa Bay (50% to 43%), and among Hispanic voters (44% to 39%).

Demings holds a close advantage among women (48% to 41%).

Rubio also has a 10-point lead among independent voters, (47% to 37%), while also grabbing 91% of Republican voters. Demings has the backing of 87% of Democratic voters.

The favorability ratings found just about everyone in Florida recognizes Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker who now is in his 12th year as a U.S. Senator. The poll found 44% of Florida’s registered voters have a favorable opinion of him, 37% have an unfavorable opinion, and 14% have a neutral opinion. Just 5% said they don’t recognize Rubio’s name.

With Demings, the former Orlando Police Chief who now is in her sixth year in Congress representing Orlando, the poll found 32% of voters do not recognize her name. Another 30% have neutral opinions of her, while 27% have positive opinions, and 11% have negative opinions.

Biden is having trouble with Florida’s independent voters, with just 33% approving of his job performance. He has an 80% approval rating among Democrats, and a 7% approval among Republicans.

Biden’s approval rating is above 50% with Black voters (79%), Hispanic voters (51%), and with voters in Southeast Florida (51%).

Biden’s approval rating is under 40% with White voters (30%), men (37%), those 50 or older (38%), and with voters in Southwest Florida (32%), North Florida (34%), and in Central Florida (35%).

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


12 comments

  • Tom

    February 16, 2022 at 7:02 am

    This survey is a disaster for Demings , Dems.
    Biden has a 33%, repeat 33% approval, that means 67% disapprove, awful.

    This is a extra anchor across the state for Dems. DeSantis., Rubio others will greatly benefit. Especially with independents.

    Respectfully, Sen Rubio is over 50%, with margin of error. Dems cannot make up the Biden rejection.

    • Daniel

      February 16, 2022 at 11:37 am

      He has a 40-55 approval; you’re reading the number solely among independents.

      • Tom

        February 16, 2022 at 11:03 pm

        Earth to Daniel.
        60% favorability among independents
        90% favorable from Repubs. Which will be 95% Election Day,
        He leads crispy and fraud by 8% and 11%.
        He has 53% favorability.
        Daniel, it sucks being a Dum, Dem.
        Biden is at 34% approval in Florida.
        It’s a slaughter. Dems have no chance!
        Read it and weep pal!

      • Tom

        February 17, 2022 at 12:50 pm

        Daniel, Independents win elections. 3/4 Dems won’t vote for him. Rubio 10% pt lead with Independents. 90% with Repubs. He’s leading between 7 to 11pts in all surveys, Rubio is in a strong place. DeSantis is even stronger position.

  • zhombre

    February 16, 2022 at 8:21 am

    I look forward to the lamentations of the Dems when Rubio and DeSantis are re-elected. They will no doubt make cicada noises about Flori-duh and how voters need to be sent to re-education camps etc. Little Lincoln Project pimp PeterH will be just chockful of consternation.

    • joey

      February 16, 2022 at 10:36 pm

      Everybody knows FL voters vote against was is best for them. Working for $7 a hour and vote for the guy that say no to increase that wage. lol . To beat Rubio democrats need a Cuban Democrat from Miami. Cubans even democrats vote for Little Marco.

      • zhombre

        February 17, 2022 at 2:40 pm

        Troll. Go bye bye, troll.

  • Impeach Biden

    February 16, 2022 at 8:36 am

    It’s gonna be ugly for Democrats nationwide come November. No one, I mean not one Democrat will want the feeble old man, Biden, campaigning for them. Come November Biden will be a lame duck. Thank God!!!

  • joey

    February 16, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Everybody knows FL voters vote against was is best for them. Working for $7 a hour and vote for the guy that say no to increase that wage. lol . To beat Rubio democrats need a Cuban Democrat from Miami. Cubans even democrats vote for Little Marco.

    • Tom

      February 16, 2022 at 10:54 pm

      Joey, Little Marco is the Cuban from Miami pal! Yeah right run a Cuban from Miami. Dum dum Demings has no chance. Rubio 52%, wins.

  • josejonses

    February 18, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    you saw what the beginning of the article said right? she has room for growth more than him

    • Tom

      February 19, 2022 at 7:07 am

      Dum dum demings is clueless.
      The husband mayor has issues, the political machine will be placed under the political microscope. DeSantis and Rubio are on the side of the peeps. The working class, middle class, blue collar peeps are on the side of the Repubs. People will get to know Dum, Dum Demings, they will reject her extremism. Biden is 37% pct in Florida, it is very hard to overcome that anchor. DeSantis very, very strong!

Comments are closed.


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