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Trump-Hobbled Rubio No Longer a Shoo-In to His Senate Seat as Murphy Closes Gap

| August 13, 2016

rubio murphy

What? (Max Goldberg)

Florida’s high-stakes U.S. Senate race is tightening, with incumbent Republican Marco Rubio holding a three-point edge over Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, according to a poll released Thursday.


Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said the closeness of the race could be linked to recent struggles of controversial Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — with the presidential race having an effect “down the ballot.”

“At this stage of the campaign, Republican U.S. Senate candidates may be running against their own presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as much as they are against their Democratic opponents,” Brown said in comments released Thursday morning with the poll results.

Murphy, who faces fellow Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson in an Aug. 30 primary, trailed Rubio by a margin of 50 percent to 37 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released July 14. But Thursday’s results showed Rubio ahead 48-45 percent.

Similarly, Grayson trailed Rubio by 12 points in the July poll but was down by a margin of 49 percent to 43 percent in Thursday’s poll.

Rubio, who is seeking a second term in the Senate after a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, faces an Aug. 30 primary against businessman Carlos Beruff. The Quinipiac poll showed Murphy with a 14-point lead over Beruff in a head-to-head matchup, while Grayson led Beruff by four points.

The poll of 1,056 likely Florida voters was conducted from July 30 to Sunday and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points — matching Rubio’s lead over Murphy.

Races this year for Republican-held seats in states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Hampshire could largely determine whether the GOP retains control of the Senate. During his presidential campaign, Rubio repeatedly said he would not seek re-election — but changed his mind in June after urging from GOP officials including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Murphy, meanwhile, has backing from many state and national Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama. As an indication of that support, Vice President Joe Biden appeared last week at a Tallahassee fundraiser for Murphy.

The poll released Thursday by the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac showed Rubio comfortably leading Murphy and Grayson among independent voters. Otherwise, the numbers were similar to trends in the presidential race in Florida, with Rubio doing well among male and white voters and the Democratic candidates holding hefty leads among non-white voters.

“Sen. Rubio’s 10-point lead among independent voters over Congressman Patrick Murphy and his eight-point edge over Congressman Alan Grayson is the Republican’s best weapon in his reelection race,” Brown said.

–News Service of Florida

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9 Responses for “Trump-Hobbled Rubio No Longer a Shoo-In to His Senate Seat as Murphy Closes Gap”

  1. Sherry says:

    Rubio MUST GO! He hates his job, and has the worst voting record in the Senate! Who in their right minds would vote for him again?

  2. r&r says:

    When Rubio said he’s leaving politics and had time to rethink his statement he probably figured out he would have to get a Real job and show up to work more then 20% of the time. He’s a whiner and he will not get my vote.

  3. PCer says:

    Rubio should have stayed out and run for Governor in 2018

  4. Yellowstone says:

    Rubio still needs to repay us for the last two years he spent traveling around the country – not doing the job we paid him a hefty sum to do.

    Let’s re-elect him and see what ‘trick’ he pulls this time . . . He’s very good entertaining us with his memorized, partisan, meaningless speeches.

    Marco: You owe us!

    (Folks – do not forget to VOTE!!)

  5. A Little Common Sense Please says:

    Rubio is another college graduate who wants to be lifelong politician that hangs on to the cushy government office like a tick on a hound dog getting a free meal and ride.

  6. IMO says:

    I/M/O why is Trump being blamed for Rubio?

    1. Rubio had announed he would never run for the Senate again.

    2. Rubio stated that being a member of the Senate was a wate of time.

    3. During his first term Rubio was abasent more than he was present for votes.

    This guy just wants to keep his position at the public trough. Let him go work in the real world.

  7. NortonSmitty says:

    I pray, as I’m sure the entire Rubio family does, that he holds his seat and paycheck so they all don’t have to depend on the fickle Jeb Bush to provide them all an income as Jebs butt-boy. Especially as he is not aging particularly well.

  8. Knightwatch says:

    Get Rubio out of there. Give Hillary a Democratic team to move this country forward. GO BLUE!!

  9. TeddyBallGame says:

    No sooner than he was elected to the senate Rubio declared he was not interested in doing the job (while continuing to cash the paycheck) and decided to back stab his mentor Jeb and run for POTUS himself. With predictable results.

    I can only assume he quickly found out that no serious person or company would hire him. And his only option, other that real work, was to try and fool gullible FL voters, again.

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