Poll: Marco Rubio holds double-digit lead over Val Demings in ‘red state’ Florida

‘Florida has become a red state, it will likely take an exceptionally weak Republican candidate for Democrats to win statewide — and Rubio is not a weak candidate.’

Add another poll to a growing list of surveys showing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio comfortably leading his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Orlando. And this one shows him ahead by double digits.

The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida spoke by phone with 622 likely voters Oct. 17-24. The study had a 4.7-percentage-point margin of error.

For Demings supporters, the results are dejecting. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they plan to vote for Rubio compared to 43% who side with Demings. The rest refused to answer or said they didn’t know whom they’ll pick at the ballot box.

Respondents also spoke of how their friends and family members were likely to vote. The spread was even direr for Demings, with 48% saying they were certain their friends and family preferred Rubio and 31% believing Demings would get support — a 17-point difference.

Six percent said their friends and family were split evenly between the two candidates, while 16% said they weren’t sure or refused to answer.

Respondents held less sunny outlooks for Demings when it came to how they believed their friends and family members will vote. Image via the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.

“Demings has raised a lot of money and has been on the attack for months, but Rubio is up double digits,” said Dr. Michael Binder, a UNF professor and the faculty director at the PORL. “Florida has become a red state, it will likely take an exceptionally weak Republican candidate for Democrats to win statewide — and Rubio is not a weak candidate.”

To identify a “likely voter,” the PORL required poll respondents to fit one of three criteria: they either had to have voted in the 2018 midterm General Election, the 2022 Primary Election or have registered to vote in Florida in 2020 or later.

The survey had a 4.3% response rate.

Fifty-two percent of those polled were women.

In terms of party affiliation, 262 of the respondents (42%) were Democrats, 257 were Republicans (41%) and 103 said they belonged to another party or none (16.5%).

More than 61% of respondents said they’d gone to college. Sixty-four percent said they were White, while 23% were Black, 13% were Hispanic and the remainder said they belonged to another ethnic group.

Election Day is on Nov. 8. Early voting is now underway.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Tom

    October 26, 2022 at 5:49 am

    Tom legend here..
    I did like Rubio to win the election, but after I saw the debate I think I’ll vote for Val Demings. Rubio was up there looking like an empty suit. Also I was going to vote for Ron DeSantis until Charlie roasted him alive during the debate and DeSantis about lost it. Now I will be voting for Charlie Crist. He’s a bad ass.

    • Impeach Biden

      October 26, 2022 at 6:29 am

      The meltdown of Crist, Offen, Corsin and fake Tom has begun. It’s funny to read. Anyone with half a brain could see it coming. Again thanks to the inept Democrat party lead by Dumb and Dumber for the rout that is coming.

      • Tom

        October 26, 2022 at 6:38 am

        It’s nice that the GOP can take advantage of stupid people in southern states (accept Georgia.) Huge accomplishment. However, winning presidential elections outside of flawed democratic processes (electoral college system) is a lot harder. Cheating and lies are the only way that the far right GOP can win presidential elections. They will continue to lose presidential elections because corrupt, uncivilized, and criminal.

        • Impeach Biden

          October 26, 2022 at 6:48 am

          Ah yes Fake Tom in to name calling again. I won’t call Democrats stupid but look at their leadership like Newsom, Waters, The Squad, Cantrell, Warren, Nadler, Hank “Guam” Johnson, Beetlejuice and on and on. Mentally challenged? Is that a kinder name for Democrats? Oh and the Democrats in Pennsylvania must like brain dead’s as politicians. First Biden and now possibly Fetterman. Boy oh boy.🤣

          • Tom

            October 26, 2022 at 7:44 am

            Trump was a narcissistic sociopath so don’t hand me all that. Just look at the filth that you people put into office. Rick Scott, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Donald Trump. No room to talk. You people are tore up from the floor up, ate up, fked up.

          • marylou

            October 26, 2022 at 12:08 pm

            What a stupid, ignorant ableist comment. Fetterman had a stroke. Probably 3/4 of current officeholders are at high risk for one. As you can see, Fetterman’s brain is still working.

            There are all kinds of differently-abled politicians: can’t walk, in a wheelchair, really dumb (MTG is just one example), missing one or two eyes, no legs, missing fingers and arms, Diane Feinstein, etc., etc…

          • Tom

            October 26, 2022 at 5:01 pm

            Fettermann is an embarrassment.
            I watched it live. Oz won easily,
            He was a joke before the stroke, now he’s 1/2 alive and trying to connive a Senate seat. Clearly not healthy, he is not able to communicate. He suffers a major stroke, not a dizzying spell. This needs to be investigated. The media has attempted to cover this up.
            Once again we have fraud. Just like Biden hiding.

            He has a grapefruit cyst on his back neck, gigantic. He’s a fraud, his wife is a danger. He has no limit on abortion, not a fracker. He tried to kill a African American.

            Just a fake person. Half alive, not able to function. This is a con against society.

  • Karen

    October 26, 2022 at 6:02 am

    Do not trust polls!
    Ignore polls!
    Republicans and all common sense voters please look around & see the destruction the Dems are causing!!
    Vote RED!

    • Impeach Biden

      October 26, 2022 at 6:27 am

      Not to worry Karen, we will.

    • Tom

      October 26, 2022 at 6:41 am

      👆Only stupid voters believe such exaggerated nonsense, fear mongering, hate mongering, lies, and “sky is falling” bullshit.

    • Tom

      October 26, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Correct Karen and impeach.
      Take no polls for granted.
      Tom legend here, this despicable pig
      Joey Corsin, is a low life.

      Dumings is still looking for her gun, her husband the other incompetent Dumings is looking in Orlando. Clueless.

      Rubio and Desantis will likely top 55%, the top down turnout will bring wins across the board local and state for FGOP.

      Florida is hard red, not red. Dums are done in Florida for next 10 yrs,. this loss will crush them for a generation.

      Couldn’t happen to a bunch of losers, Morton, ocean, Frankie, peter h, wanda, Mary hooch, Haney, tjb, and more. Enjoy!

      • Tom

        October 26, 2022 at 8:33 am

        Yes Impeach and Karen.
        Legend Tom here, Dumings has no chance, just like chameleon.

        DeSantis and Rubio will likely top 55%.

        Joey corsin is a loser. Well established.

      • Tom

        October 26, 2022 at 8:33 am

        Yes Impeach and Karen.
        Legend Tom here, Dumings has no chance, just like chameleon.

        DeSantis and Rubio will likely top 55%.

        Joey corsin is a loser. Well established.

        • Joe Corsin

          October 26, 2022 at 9:29 am

          Yeah gonna get all your clothes torn off before the whole bar beats you.

      • Joe Corsin

        October 26, 2022 at 9:30 am

        You’ll be stripped naked before the back to back head punts.😂

        • Tom

          October 26, 2022 at 10:07 am

          Legend Tom.
          I have exposed you for the fraud you are Joey corsin. You offer nothing, you know nothing, you contribute nothing, you are nothing. Just a fraud.

          You have driven Dems away from FP.
          You are a chinese troll, , soros Manchurian.

          You need a army to do so pal. You are a pussy. Kiss my ass.

        • Tom

          October 26, 2022 at 11:12 am

          You will need an army, you are incompetent. I am the legend, you are the manure. Enjoy the shellacking.

          • The Real Tom

            October 26, 2022 at 1:03 pm

            Heel kick to the shoulders, low kick to the balls, flying high kick to the mouth. Outta there buddy. GOP can win all it wants but we still gonna be a royal pain in your asses buddy you better believe it.

  • David In Shoreline

    October 26, 2022 at 9:17 am

    Rubio is rad. Demmings is dumb. Easy choice!

  • tom palmer

    October 26, 2022 at 9:28 am

    They;re the same polling group that had Nikki Fried defeating Charlie Crist, so it ‘s hard to take it too serioulsly.

    • Tom

      October 26, 2022 at 10:01 am

      They are consistent with all polls Palmer. You always say the only poll is Election Day, I agree.

      The bottom line, all the polls show a 6 to 11% or greater win for both.

      The Dems are in real trouble. The FGOP now has over a 300,000 registration lead. We are talking over 550,000 flip from D to R.

      Dumings money has kept Rubio just below 5o%, it won’t work anymore.
      Chameleon and Dumings are awful.

      DeSantis wins with over 55%, Rubio a strong vote getter may top 55%. The trickle down is FL county and local wipeout.

      Dems reap what they sew, Jan 6, Cheney committee b s, green no energy, raging inflation, 5 million illegals, and overall incompetence from Biden, Harris. Totally out of touch.

      I predicted this 18 months ago. The Dums are depressed, they aren’t even posting. This idiot Corsin has depressed your side.

      Btw, this idiot Feathermann is an embarrassment in PA. So typical of Dums to run a 1/2 alive person and try to get away with it. Just sickening what Dums will do. He was yelling during debate.

      U S House, Senate, Governorships and legislatures going GOP.

      Florida going hard, hard red!

      Shellacking coming!

      • Charlie Crist

        October 26, 2022 at 10:25 am

        Yeah bunch of stupid people voting for the party of the rich in Florida. Seen a dude from the trailer park waving a Trump flag and Trump wouldn’t wipe his ass with the derelict. Not gonna make you idiots a dime.

        • Jerry

          October 26, 2022 at 1:03 pm

          Yet the Democrats just tried to force that guy’s employer to fire him if he didn’t get an experimental vaccine that does absolutely nothing to stop the spread.

          • Charlie Crist

            October 26, 2022 at 1:08 pm

            Millions of people world wide took the vaccine to save us all from mass death. Not so much the far right bioterrorist conspiracy theory dodo birds here in the USA. I don’t feel sorry for whoever got fired. They were stupid. Kinda like that one idiot in a million who tries to join service but refuses shots. Take a hike you clown.

      • marylou

        October 26, 2022 at 12:21 pm

        We will see you elderly MAGAs crying when Rubio cuts your Social Security payments and sends you a $200 per year voucher to replace the Medicare that you used to get! —-Cassandra of the Swamp

        • Tom

          October 26, 2022 at 2:03 pm

          Mary hooch, the abortionist liar!

      • nail

        October 26, 2022 at 1:21 pm

        Tom the Desants/Co-Governor Christina Pushaw pawn. Ever wonnder what happened to those over 600,000 new Florida registrations, that DeSantis had a nerve to add to the second page of the voter registrations? Bet you never knew it was there? Sure you never new it was there on the second page of the registrations. But when you see that we ended up with over 40,000 less voters from the Jan 1, 2022 to Sept 30,2022, and the decrease of the Dems add to almost exactly what the GQP has changed to.
        Please ask the co-governor when she pays you Friday, if they would like to change their mind own what DeSantis and she are touting….before it’s announced that DeSantis has another federal investigation going.

  • Tom

    October 26, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    Nail, snail you are such a manure sack of potatoes! I get paid by the mang! Direct.

    He used my chameleon line, I shared, for your old donkey, chameleon. LMAO. Did you watch Charlie smile.

    Nail, snail I am the legend, Dums like you love to hate me. I own you and corsin.

    Your falsehood conspiracies out due JFK’s and the grassy knoll. Watch Kevin Costner u idiot! Did u sit on fat Navarro’s lap? When Cardenas went to sleep.

    How’d u like Lemieux and Kottcamp endorsing Desantis? And 30 ex chameleons peeps. LMAO.

    You are an idiot, this is going to be a massive take down 11/8. FGOP may win every office. They’ll fry your buns.

    As for your conspiracy, see it’s public info moron. Dumtards had a 250,000 lead or greater, FGOP flipped it, to 320,000 and counting. See that’s a 5550,000 flip.

    The Dums are done for a generation. Marco 53% or 54%, DeSantis 55% or greater.

    Wait til the margins come in. Go eat some ice cream with Biden, Chameleon on 11/1. Biden’s 36% approval Florida, Civiqs poll. Doubt Dumings will show. Shove it up pie hole. How’s that nail, snail.

    • Charlie Crist

      October 26, 2022 at 3:27 pm

      Every bit of what you said is misleading information..

      • Tom

        October 26, 2022 at 4:52 pm

        Crapping on you all day Joey!

      • Tom

        October 26, 2022 at 4:52 pm

        Crapping on you all day Joey!

  • eva

    October 27, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    I am already making an additional $43K suitable or more every month from home by performing genuinely uncomplicated and truthful tasks online. I really brought home $35K (amv-86) in income last month, which isn’t necessarily inheritable. Join up on this hobby right away to start increasing your online earnings by learning how to use the tools provided.

    Website—————————————————>>> 9qr.de/jkaN8W

  • tom palmer

    October 27, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    I guess I wonder whether Tom & company will claim election fraud if they win, which they typically do when they lose.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn