Marco Rubio holds solid lead over Val Demings in new poll
Marco Rubio leads, but Val Demings is formidable.

Rubio Demings
UNF survey finds Rubio outpolling Demings by 12 points.

Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio holds a 12-point advantage over Democratic front-running candidate Rep. Val Demings in a new poll released Thursday by the University of North Florida.

The live telephone survey, conducted Feb. 7-20 by UNF’s Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL), finds 46% of Florida’s registered voters support the two-term Senator for re-election, while 34% back the three-term Congresswoman from Orlando.

“Rubio is up by 12 percentage points on Demings, some of which can probably be attributed to name recognition,” Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and professor of political science said in a news release. “The 17% who don’t know are the ones to look out for in the coming months, as campaigning starts to ramp up for both candidates.”

At the same time, the PORL poll found fairly low numbers of Florida’s registered voters — just 39% — have a positive view of Rubio’s job performance. There were no similar questions asked of Demings, whose statewide profile remains low.

The poll stakes out something of an outlier position compared to other recent polls, which have had the race a little closer, with Rubio still leading.

A Mason-Dixon poll done earlier this month showed Rubio holding a 7-point lead, as did a St. Pete Polls survey in November. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll released in January had Rubio up by 8.

PORL pollsters said their full results have about a margin of error of about 4 percentage points.

Across groups, Rubio has a solid lock on Republican voters’ support, leading Demings 83% to 5%, while Demings finds less loyalty among Democrats, leading Rubio 69% to 16%. Among independent voters, Rubio holds a 38% to 28% lead, with another 30% saying they are undecided.

Rubio has a double-digit advantage among men, women, college graduates, voters of nearly every age bracket, and among White voters.

Demings holds a commanding lead among Black voters and among Hispanic voters against the Cuban-American Rubio.

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].


  • Impeach Biden

    February 24, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Hey Val, may I suggest you get “Sleepy Joe Biden” to campaign for you? He has done such a ……………job on America since he has been President. Good luck Val and buh bye to your chances of winning in “RED” Florida.

    • Elysee

      February 26, 2022 at 8:17 pm

      Biden did and still do a good job
      Better than the Orange” he did nothing but talking ,cursing and humiliate people and people with disability run our reputation in the world and the list goes on
      Thanks To the American people , the 8 million people that voted him out
      He lost the election but can not accept defeats like a 4 years old

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