Marco Rubio holds edge over Val Demings, but remains underwater with favorability

He leads by 7 points, but a plurality of voters say he's doing a bad job as Senator.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio holds a 7-point edge over Democratic challenger Val Demings, but the incumbent stays underwater with favorability ratings.

That’s the finding of a new poll by the Siena College Research Institute, commissioned by Spectrum News.

About 48% of those polled say they intend to vote for Rubio, compared to just 41% who plan to support Demings. The Republican incumbent sees the critical independent vote breaking in his favor, according to the poll. About 45% of self-described independents and third-party voters support Rubio, compared to 35% who plan to back Demings.

Pollsters report a 4.5-point margin of error on results, which applies to each candidate’s share, so the race is still statistically close. And Rubio doesn’t perform as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis, who faces Democrat Charlie Crist on the same ballot. The incumbent still falls a couple of points short of majority support but holds the edge a little more than a month before the election.

Pollsters surveyed 669 likely Florida voters between Sept. 18 and 25, and weighted results based on the turnout for the 2020 Presidential Election.

Strong partisanship among voters shows up in the polling.

“Rubio has the support of 94% of Republicans and leads by 10 points, 45-35% over Demings among independents. Demings has an 89-4% advantage among Democrats,” said Don Levy, Siena College Research Institute’s director.

“Men are with Rubio by 26 points, while women support Demings by 10 points. White voters support Rubio by 54-37%, however Black voters back Demings 80-9%. Demings trails in her ‘home’ area of Orlando by 8 points.”

Demings has represented Central Florida in Congress since 2016 and formerly served as Police Chief for Orlando. She would be the state’s first Black Senator and second woman Senator.

“Chief Demings is running to represent all Floridians, while Marco Rubio continues to fail them every chance he gets,” said Demings Press Secretary Devon Cruz. “Floridians know this race is between a cop on the beat versus a career politician who doesn’t show up for work. Floridians want a leader in the United States Senate who will fight to lower costs, lower crime, and protect their constitutional rights. Chief Demings will be that Senator.”

While Rubio holds an advantage head-to-head, he is still unpopular with voters overall. About 44% have an unfavorable view of his performance as a Senator, a job he has held for almost 12 years. Just 41% have a favorable view.

Demings, meanwhile, remains somewhat unknown to voters still. About 33% hold a favorable view compared to 22% unfavorable. But a full 44% didn’t have an opinion or refused to share it with pollsters. By comparison, only 15% refused to assess Rubio.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Don’t Look Up

    October 3, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Voting for Rubio is voting against Florida’s and the electorate’s self interest.

    • Impeach Biden

      October 3, 2022 at 9:32 am

      Voting for Deming’s is an endorsement of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden / Kamala Harris. Floridian’s have had enough of the incompetence.

      • Tjb

        October 3, 2022 at 10:15 am

        Voting for Rubio is the supporting of the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. His plan is to have more middle class Floridians living in poverty or near poverty in their retirement years, their allegedly golden years.

        • Impeach Biden

          October 3, 2022 at 10:23 am

          There it is. One of the favorite Democrat talking points that comes up every election cycle. Only the uninformed, and uneducated believe this nonsense that the Republicans are coming for your Social Security and Medicare. That would be political suicide, yet TJB believes this and posts it. Next will come racism.

          • Tom

            October 3, 2022 at 10:41 am

            Agreed Impeach.
            Tjb is a lackey Soros Manchurian.
            Talking pts is all dum Dems have.
            They’ll resurrect, throwing granny from cliff. Pathetic.

            Rubio is a world class Senator.
            Master “legislator” in Congress.

          • Tjb

            October 3, 2022 at 10:41 am

            Denial on your part. The policies that he is promoting will have a greater effect on our children and grandchildren, Yes, it would be political suicide if it had a significant effect with current retirees or those approaching retirement age but he is going after our children with this ill advised plan.

          • Charlie Crist

            October 3, 2022 at 10:45 am

            👆Vote for me. I’ll rip this guy’s hair out of his head and kick him up the asshole 🍩

  • Tom

    October 3, 2022 at 9:34 am

    No surprise.
    Rubio is the best “legislator” in Congress, House or Senate. His days as speaker has taught him how to write legislation to the micro.

    He’s with the peeps, what’s being under reported is the support independent Dems will provide to Marco and to Gov. Hispanics will support him 2-1, or greater.

    Marco towers over Dumings. She’s still looking for her gun.

    Both Dem candidates will look to exploit this terrible tragedy politically. Gov Ron and Sen Rubio will not allow this to happen.

    Siena is a liberal polling group. The leads are larger!

    • joey

      October 3, 2022 at 9:40 am

      best “legislator”? He dont even show to work. He is the worse senator. Only way he will win is because Florida voters like useless politicians.

      • Tom

        October 3, 2022 at 10:03 am

        Joey, It’s called legislating, crafting law. It’s a craft, few have it like jerk Adam shit head. Rubio authored many bills. PPP is legendary, as was the HUD bill.

        He would have voted no, he was back in state due to hurricane. Dems are notorious for Christmas Tree in what should be narrow emergency legislation measures for a specific cause.

        Give it up losers. You are looking at a world class Senator. Master of his craft! Dumings looking for her gun.

        • Deplorable Dumbass Tom

          October 3, 2022 at 10:41 am

          Tropical 7 sea whirlwind

        • Nobody Was Here

          October 3, 2022 at 10:55 am

          No, it’s called legisgaslighting.

          I’ll vote for Rubio because there isn’t another choice and maybe it’ll be enough to make Val Demmings crawl back in the hole she spawned from.

          But Rubio should know very clearly that we know neither he nor Scott have done bupkis to cure the the rot and corruption flowing out of DC.

          • Tom

            October 3, 2022 at 12:22 pm

            Literally the most deranged, retarded, outline I’ve read in four years on FP.

            Rubio stands alone, towers over dum Dem Demings. My goodness.

            All you ignants, feel free to support dum, dum Demings.

          • Tom

            October 3, 2022 at 3:14 pm

            “Tropical 2 swirling ocean typhooncane” – “dum, dum” Tom

  • Daniela Patterson

    October 3, 2022 at 9:37 am

    If he’s unfavorable, how is he leading?

    • Elliott Offen

      October 3, 2022 at 11:33 am

      Because stupid Republican voters don’t care who is in office so long as it’s not a Democrat. In the long run, this will lead to their complete destruction. It’s great!!!!

      • Impeach Biden

        October 3, 2022 at 11:47 am

        Well we can thank the stupid Democrats for putting in “Alzheimer’s” Joe and his moronic sidekick Kama Wanna Lei U in office. Look at what he has done to this country in a little over 1.5 years.

        • Elliott Offen

          October 3, 2022 at 11:54 am

          He’s better than narcissistic psycho Trump. Why don’t criticize that buddy? Because you are a disgrace…and you people try to salvage what credibility you have left by scapegoating. Just bad people and you gonna pay.

          • Impeach Biden

            October 3, 2022 at 1:57 pm

            Okay, you want me to call him a disgrace every time I check my portfolio? Every time I gas up my car? Every time I buy groceries? Every time I go to Home Depot? Every time I have to watch my back in the city? Every time I see if our border is secure. Every time I wake to see if Putin has launched tactical nukes? Nope. It is senile Joe and Kamana Wanna Lei U that own this and their helpers Pelosi and Schumer.

          • Elliott Offen

            October 3, 2022 at 3:15 pm

            Because Republicans have had nothing to do with inflation over the last 20 years 🤡

    • Rlb

      October 10, 2022 at 8:27 pm

      Because Republicans are racists.


    October 8, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Guess you never heard of Covid is a supply and Demand issue dummy.

Comments are closed.


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