New poll finds Marco Rubio with 11-point lead over Val Demings among likely voters
Val Demings and Marco Rubio get into a Mexican fruit fight.

demings rubio
Center Street poll finds Rubio's lead has grown since a July survey.

A new poll bucks the trend of several recent surveys and shows Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has increased his lead over Val Demings to a substantial 11-point margin among likely voters since the two launched TV advertising.

Center Street Political Action Committee, a Tallahassee-based super PAC formed earlier this year largely by former Republican operatives to promote nonpartisan, middle-of-the-road politics, said its new survey finds Rubio has 52% support among likely voters, while Demings has 41%.

The spread narrows when Center Street broadened the pool to all registered voters, giving Rubio an advantage of 46% to 39%.

The likely voters’ gap has widened in Rubio’s favor since Center Street last polled Florida’s U.S. Senate race in July. Since then, Rubio has pounded the airwaves with commercials challenging Demings’ support for law enforcement even though she’s a former Orlando Police Chief who put 27 years into the force before entering politics.

She has attempted to defend against those attacks and punch back over Rubio’s U.S. Senate attendance record.

Center Street said in a statement that Demings appears to have lost momentum.

“When you combine Republicans’ advantage in voter enthusiasm with their slight advantage in Florida voter registration, it’s going to be tough for Demings to win,” Center Street’s statement read. “Demings has a lot of ground to make up at this point, losing favorability points and lagging in awareness, despite strong fundraising and big ad spends.”

The Center Street poll diverges from recent surveys released by the University of North Florida, which showed Demings ahead 48% to 44%; by Change Research; and by Progress Florida and Florida Watch, which both showed the race in a dead heat. The latter two polls were done by groups with ties to the Democratic Party.

Center street conducted its poll online, though, of 1,200 total adults. That pool included 996 registered voters, which in turn included 610 who identified as likely voters. The polling was done from last Friday through Sunday. The pollsters said it has a margin of error of 3 points for the likely voters’ results.

Since the last poll, concluded July 9, Demings made little gain in name recognition, Center Street noted. Rubio leads in name recognition across the board. Among likely voters, 98% know Rubio, and 87% know Demings.

Demings also saw her favorability ratings sag somewhat between the July and August surveys, according to Center Street. In the new poll, Rubio had more voters who rate “very favorable” and “somewhat favorable,” while Demings largest collection of voters were among those who said they had neutral views of her.

“Based on the data, Demings has more work to do to improve her awareness and image with voters. Right now, her campaign has to focus on the basics: getting Demings established in voters’ minds,” said Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. There will be time down the line to get to issues and comparison ads against Rubio.”

Demings is considered the front-runner to secure the Democratic nomination in next week’s Primary contest.

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].


  • tjb

    August 17, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    The 46% support Rubio because he wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. Poverty in retirement must be fun.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 17, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Typical Democrat election year politics. Those bad Repubs are coming for your social security and Medicare. The only ones that believe this are the most uninformed and easily manipulated by this BS. Demings going down along with Crist. Keep Florida RED

    • Joe Corsin

      August 17, 2022 at 3:54 pm

      Vote RED for election thieves and grifters
      Vote RED to shovel money to the super rich
      Vote RED for right wing terrorist supporters
      Vote RED for false information and hate speech
      Vote RED for forced birth of meth babies and crack babies
      Vote RED for book burning and right wing propaganda in schools
      Vote RED for right wing police state

      • Dave Edwards

        August 17, 2022 at 9:47 pm

        Hopefully things turn around for you soon Joe. Work is out there if you actually look.

        • Joe Corsin

          August 18, 2022 at 10:03 am

          I have a million dollars…

  • Tom

    August 17, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    That sounds bout right, Rubio up between 8 and 10. It’s a yawner!

    Dumings get your gun, get your gun, get it on the run , on the run! LMAO. Florida’s Annie Oakley. It’s a yawner!

    Florida Dum clown show, hysterical.

    • Elliott Offen

      August 17, 2022 at 4:46 pm

      🤡 Abadee bee bee babadee abadee bee bee babadee.. beedeebee beedeebee beedeebee 🤡

  • Aggie Tate

    August 17, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    What other outcome would you expect from an organization formed by former Tea Partiers? New pollsters are popping up all over the place. They pretty much pull data out of their butt and get some digital media site to refer to and publish a link to their findings giving their group the appearance of credibility. Most average citizens only pay attention to it believe the polls that confirm whatever they already believe anyway, just like they do with any factoids they drift into surfing the interwebs. Integrity, accuracy, facts, reality and truth just don’t matter anymore. Everything’s a popularity contest and only the image you can sell matters.


  • Don’t Look Up

    August 17, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    If Americans want women to control their own bodies, qualified teachers to replace DeSantis’s culture wars in classrooms, intelligent teacher-student conversations concerning the social issues facing Americans in the 21st century, non-bullying discussion about classroom students who are different, common sense gun regulations, and a new honest approach on how best to address climate change……AMERICANS MUST VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE. REPUBLICANS ARE AMERICA’S PROBLEM. VOTE MARCO RUBIO OUT OF OFFICE

  • Impeach Biden

    August 18, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Maybe Val should bring in the big guns to up her ratings. The Dumb and Dumber show (Biden & Harris). Heck she has nothing to lose. She can get on stage with those two and support all of their idiotic policies like the Southern Border, defund the police, the war on oil companies and inflationary spending.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 18, 2022 at 10:05 am

      Trump show was the biggest clown show in human history. Funny to see you try and pin the tail on the Dems. I guess I would too if I’d supported a crook and snake oil salesmen for POTUS.

  • Rich louis

    August 18, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Liberals are soooooo stupid.

    • Elliott Offen

      August 18, 2022 at 5:37 pm

      If you pulled for Trump you are stupid…got conned, duped, and deluded by a snake oil salesmen.

      • Jerry

        August 18, 2022 at 5:58 pm

        I’d much rather have Trump than the power-hungry Marxists you people voted in.

        Anyone who supports hiring 87,000 more IRS agents has something very, very wrong with their brain. I’m serious. You have to be mentally challenged to think this government needs to be bigger. Something is wrong with you.

        • James R. Miles

          August 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

          Perhaps you should move to country more in tune with your extremist politics, like China and Russia. They embrace the type of fascism that Trump so dearly loves. Everyone with a brain knowns Trump is a LIAR and the ultimate con artist! YOU HAVE BEEN DUPED!

  • James R. Miles

    August 18, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    First of all, I don’t trust polls. What has Rubio done as a Senator to deserve re-election? In Florida, a retiree state, Rubio as well as rich Scott want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare! That should win them their next election, hands down1 Ha Ha!

  • Jade

    August 18, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    Someone please tell me, how Val Demings, a career politician and corporate-democrat who doesn’t support Medicare for All is supposed to motivate young people of color such as myself?
    While Val and I are both women of color, gender and skin tone is not enough for me to support her.
    We need real, principled progressives running for office in Florida, not the same old, tired, boomer retreads. And Im sorry, as much as I can’t stand Rubio, my husband and I will likely skip this race and vote down ballot.

  • Dira

    August 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    I respectfully disagree with this poll for many reasons; Rubio has lost the respect of many voters and the pro-choice vote is on fire in Florida. Above all people in Florida do not want government in their personal private matters. The Republicans have lost touch with the majority of Florida voters.

Comments are closed.


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