Val Demings Moves Ahead Of Marco Rubio In Florida Polling


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is losing by four percentage points to likely general election challenger Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) in a new survey ahead of this November’s midterm elections.

The pool of respondents underlying these numbers were registered voters who said they would vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The survey itself was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. The university is a highly-regarded pollster, with a rating of “A/B” from FiveThirtyEight, an elections data and analysis site. In the figures shared from the survey, Demings nabbed 48 percent of the support, while Rubio had 44 percent. A full 7 percent of respondents indicated they’d vote for someone else, and two percent said they didn’t know or refused the question. Demings led by 10 percentage points among respondents with no party affiliation: 46 percent of those respondents went for the Democratic contender, while just 36 percent picked Rubio. Demings led among women by 10 percentage points — significantly higher than Rubio’s three percent lead with men.

Rubio, meanwhile, led among respondents 45 and up. This survey seems like the first major poll finding Demings ahead of Rubio in a general election match-up after two other recent polls found the two contenders tied. One of the advantages held by the Demings campaign is her fundraising: in recent fundraising periods, the Democratic Congresswoman brought in millions more than Rubio. The Demings campaign reported raising $4.7 million in the period from July 1 to August 3 — and in that same period, Rubio’s campaign raised just $1.9 million. These numbers were included in pre-primary reports with federal election authorities; this year, Florida is one of the last states in the country to hold its primaries. In Florida, Rubio appears significantly less popular — including among Republicans — than the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. In the new University of North Florida polling, DeSantis easily led both potential general election challengers.

In other recent polling, a full 95 percent of Republicans shared a favorable view of DeSantis — for Rubio, just 72 percent said the same. In office, Rubio distinguishes himself with his indistinguishable nature. Unlike DeSantis, who espouses loud-mouthed commitment to GOP causes, Rubio — who once ran against Donald Trump in a Republican presidential primary — often seems interested in simply following the political winds. Rubio characterized the Capitol attack inspired by Trump’s lies about the election as embarrassing, and he even called those who perpetrated it “treasonous” — not a light allegation! So, how did he vote when the matter of Trump’s impeachment for inciting the riot came before the Senate? He voted against convicting Trump and called forceful arguments made from the House team pushing for conviction “ridiculous and insulting.” Rubio argued at the time that voting against conviction didn’t, contrary to certain House arguments, equate to condoning the attack.