Rubio leads Murphy in U.S. Senate race on strength of Hispanic support and boosting Democrat’s negatives

Rubio holds lead over Murphy
Rubio holds lead over Murphy

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio continues to lead Democrat Patrick Murphy in the latest poll in Florida’s nationally watched Senate race, helped by strong support among Hispanic voters.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research said its survey last week of 820 likely Florida voters showed Rubio with a 7-point edge on Murphy. Rubio leads 47 percent to 40 percent for Murphy, with the poll having a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.

While Murphy is trying hard to lash Rubio to the Trump campaign, the Florida senator is drawing some of his strongest backing for Hispanic voters.

Hispanics favor Rubio over Murphy 53 percent to 38 percent — and he is attracting 16 percent of Democratic voters, the survey found.

Rubio’s glut of TV advertising, mostly paid for by outside groups ranging from the National Republican Senatorial Committee to the National Rifle Association, also has helped drive up negative impressions of Murphy among voters.

Mason-Dixon pollsters concluded, “It is extremely difficult now for a Democrat to win in Florida while losing the Hispanic vote.”

In the presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s margin over Donald Trump with Hispanics (64%-29%) is the primary reason she is currently holding a slight statewide lead in Florida.


Post-debate Florida poll gives Clinton an edge (slightly)

Trump, Clinton
Trump, Clinton

A Florida post-debate poll shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a narrow lead over Republican Donald Trump in the nation’s biggest jump-ball state.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research said Clinton holds a 46 percent to 42 percent edge on Trump, in a survey with a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is drawing 7 percent of the Florida vote, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, 1 percent. Another 4 percent remain undecided, the poll showed.

“Despite small shifts that have given Clinton a post-debate bump, the race is still very competitive and the outcome will hinge on where and among whom voter turnout is higher,” Mason-Dixon concluded.

The Interstate-4 corridor, where many Florida elections are won or lost, remains a tale of two cities. Clinton leads in the Tampa Bay-area, 47-40 percent, the poll showed, while Trump is ahead in the Orlando area, 46-43 percent.

Mason-Dixon polled 820 likely Florida voters by phone, Tuesday through Thursday.

Floridians grade state’s fight against Zika virus as fair-to-poor

Gov. Scott's fight against Zika virus includes many round tables.
Gov. Scott’s fight against Zika virus includes many round tables.

With Gov. Rick Scott hosting another day of Zika virus round tables today, state officials are getting mostly fair to poor marks for how they’re handling the outbreak, a new poll shows.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research said Monday that 22 percent of Floridians say the state is doing a poor job in trying to control the spread of the virus, while another 37 percent rated the effort as fair. While 35 percent statewide called the state’s performance good or excellent, in South Florida that dips to 29 percent.

The state has reported 42 cases of non-travel related Zika virus — all but one coming in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Scott is hosting huddles with local business leaders and tourism officials today in Naples and Boca Raton.

Statewide, 48 percent of poll respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned about contracting the illness. Concern is greater among women than men about contracting the virus, which among pregnant women, can cause profound birth defects.

Older Floridians are the most concerned about the virus, along with residents of Southeast Florida, the survey showed. Mason-Dixon questioned 625 Floridians last week, and the poll has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

New polls, familiar story: Florida a toss-up in race for White House

Trump, Clinton
Trump, Clinton

New Florida polls released Friday are basically showing the same old results: The Sunshine State is a toss-up in the presidential contest.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 44 percent to 42 percent lead over Republican Donald Trump. But that gap is well within the survey’s 4 percent margin-of-error.

An online survey from icitizen gives Clinton a 5 percentage point edge, in a survey with a 4 percent margin-of-error.

Mason-Dixon adds that its findings underscore another hardy perennial in Florida politics. The Interstate-4 corridor will prove decisive. And right now, the two leading contenders split the region.

“The battleground once again is in the I-4 corridor. The race in that area is essentially tied, with Clinton leading 44%-40% in the Tampa Bay region and Trump leading 46%-42% in Central Florida,” according to Mason-Dixon’s analysis.

Mason-Dixon surveyed 625 registered Florida voters by phone Monday through Wednesday. Icitizen relied on 600 registered Florida voters who went online from Aug. 18-24.

Poll shows Florida’s U.S. Senate race a contest in November; August primary? No so much

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy

The latest poll in Florida’s U.S. Senate race echoes most earlier surveys: The August primaries are no contest, but November could prove interesting.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter and Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio hold overwhelming leads in their bids for their respective party’s nomination Tuesday. But if the pair square off in November, the race could be tight, according to Mason-Dixon Polling & Research’s poll released Thursday.

Rubio holds a within-the-margin-of-error 46 percent to 43 percent lead over Murphy among general election voters, the survey of 625 registered Florida voters shows. The telephone survey was conducted Monday through Wednesday and has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.

In crowded primary fields, Rubio holds a 39 percent lead over his nearest rival, Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff, who has spent about $8 million of his own money in the campaign, while Murphy tops closest contender, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, by 33 percent, the survey shows.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

Support for Rubio and Murphy fall along traditional lines. White voters, men and North Floridians like Rubio, while Murphy draws support from women and those living in South Florida.

But in a sign of potential trouble for Murphy, Rubio is stronger among Hispanics and across the crowded Interstate-4 corridor of mid-Florida, the toss-up region where elections are often decided.


Poll shows Clinton edging Trump in Florida and warns adding Scott “toxic” to GOP ticket

Hillary Clinton edges Donald Trump in Florida, Mason-Dixon poll shows
Hillary Clinton edging Donald Trump in Florida, Mason-Dixon poll shows

Hillary Clinton is holding a narrow lead over Donald Trump in Florida, powered by strong support from Hispanic voters, a poll released Friday shows.

The telephone survey of 625 Florida registered voters was conducted May 31-June 2 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The poll has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

Statewide, 45% support Clinton, 42% back Trump and 6% say they will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Another 7% are undecided.

Clinton is powered by some defections from Trump to Johnson, the Libertarian contender, among white Republican and independent voters. But she also has strong support among Hispanics (68%), according to Mason-Dixon.

A Florida Atlantic University poll released Thursday showed Clinton leading Trump by 23 percent among Hispanic voters. But Clinton was the favorite of only 50 percent of Hispanics, FAU found, compared with Obama carrying 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in winning re-election in 2012.

Mason-Dixon also surveyed voters on whether Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s addition as Clinton’s running mate would help the nominee in Florida.

The conclusion: “He certainly would do no damage and could make the difference in a one or two-point race,” Mason-Dixon managing director Brad Coker wrote.

Adding Gov. Rick Scott to Trump’s ticket, however, “could be toxic” Coker added.

“A whopping 40% of Florida voters say they would be “less likely” to vote for Trump with Scott on the ticket,” Coker wrote.