Incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) holds a seven-point lead over Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida, according to a new poll.
The poll, published by RealClearPolitics and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling from February 7 to 10 among 625 registered voters, found Rubio received 49 percent support compared to Demings’ 42 percent. Nine percent of respondents said they were undecided.
Rubio, a two-term senator, and once presidential contender, has substantially more name recognition among voters at this stage in the race, scoring 27 percent higher than Demings in the poll on the topic of candidate familiarity.
The poll noted that the gap is likely to close as campaigning ramps up later into the year.
Demings, who previously served as chief of the Orlando Police Department, is one of the most well-funded candidates in the country and the front-running Democrat candidate hoping to unseat Rubio in November.
Demings and her campaign have raised a whopping $20 million during the 2022 election cycle and have more than $8 million in cash on hand, according to federal election data. The same data shows Rubio trailing slightly in terms of fundraising but still maintaining about a $2 million cash-on-hand advantage over the Florida Democrat.
The poll also found that while Democrat and Republican respondents split solidly along party lines when selecting their preferred candidate, Rubio leads Demings by ten points among independent voters.
The topline poll results are consistent with a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll that found Rubio ahead of Demings by eight points, again with 49 percent compared to Demings’ 41 percent.
In terms of racial demographics, the Mason-Dixon poll found Rubio held a 23-point lead over Demings among white respondents, 58 percent to 35 percent. Conversely, Demings held a 75-point lead over Rubio among black voters, 82 percent to seven percent.
Florida’s Hispanic population, at more than five million, is one of the highest in the country and accounts for about a quarter of the state’s total population. Among Hispanic poll respondents, Rubio had a slight edge over Demings by five points, 44 percent to 39 percent. A high number of Hispanic respondents, 17 percent, said however that they were undecided on whom to vote for.
The poll was conducted by telephone and had a margin of error of +/- four percent.