POLL: Marco Rubio Leads Val Demings 52% to 41% among Likely Voters in Florida’s Senate Race

ORLANDO, Fla. – (Aug. 17, 2022) – A new poll from Center Street PAC (www.centerstreetpac.com), a non-partisan political action committee, shows Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has a significant lead over Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) in Florida’s U.S. Senate race.  Rubio leads Demings 52% to 41% among likely voters, with 7% undecided. Among registered voters, the gap narrows, with Rubio leading 46% to 39%, with 14% undecided.

Likely Voters: Rubio – 52%, Demings – 41%, Undecided – 7%
Registered Voters: Rubio – 46%, Demings – 39%, Undecided – 14%
Rubio: GOP – 83%, Dem – 10%, Unaffiliated – 40%; Demings: GOP – 9%, Dem – 78%, Unaffiliated – 33%; Undecided: GOP – 8%, Dem – 12%, Unaffiliated – 27%
Rubio: White – 52%, Black – 18%, Hispanic – 44%; Demings: White – 37%, Black – 62%, Hispanic – 44%; Undecided: White – 11%, Black – 20%, Hispanic – 22%
Rubio: Urban – 42%, Suburban – 47%, Rural – 53%; Demings: Urban – 42%, Suburban – 40%, Rural – 31%; Undecided: Urban – 16%, Suburban – 13%, Rural – 16%

“Based on the data, Demings has more work to do to improve her awareness and image with voters. Right now, her campaign has to focus on the basics: getting Demings established in voters’ minds,” said Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. There will be time down the line to get to issues and comparison ads against Rubio.”

Demings made impressive gains in awareness, favorability and overall preference from March to July, but her momentum appears to have halted. Despite strong fundraising and heavy ad spending, Demings made little improvement in name recognition, as 19% of registered voters are still unaware of her.

Awareness among Likely Voters: Rubio – 98%, Demings – 87%; Registered Voters: Rubio – 95%, Demings – 81%

Demings also lost a critical advantage over Rubio, slipping in favorability from a positive view to overall neutrality, with 38% of voters viewing her as Somewhat or Very Favorable (19%/19%) and 29% as Neutral. Rubio is seen as Somewhat or Very Favorable by 42% (20%/22%) of voters and as Neutral by 19%. Demings was viewed as Somewhat or Very Unfavorable by slightly fewer respondents, at 34% (13%/21%) versus Rubio’s 38% (12% 26%).

“In the Senate races we have seen in Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah, 15% of Republicans or more have crossed the party line to vote for the Democrat. But Florida Republicans are staying loyal to Rubio. Consistently, less than 10% have said they’d cross over to Demings,” said Center Street Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Kurt Jetta.

As in other states’ Senate races, Republicans hold a substantial advantage in voter enthusiasm in Florida. Center Street’s data currently project 70% of Republicans as Likely Voters versus 63% for Democrats. Given Republicans slight advantage in voter registration in Florida, Demings faces a significant challenge.

Center Street has developed an unparalleled data set, led by Dr. Jetta. A 30-year innovator in consumer analytics and former CEO of TABS Analytics, Dr. Jetta applies his consumer analysis developments to political analysis, allowing Center Street to determine and choose a select number of winnable races.

Center Street is a nonpartisan super PAC designed to combat the destructive tribalism threatening democracy by supporting credible candidates, regardless of political party, against extremist challengers and incumbents. Founded by former Republican strategist Jacob Perry and private businessman Matt O’Brien, Center Street advocates for the election of candidates who demonstrate stable and effective governing policies. 

Editorial Note: In addition to the Aug. 14, 2022 poll, Floridians were surveyed on March 4, 2022 and July 9, 2022. Dr. Jetta saw that Trump voters were underrepresented in the samples of the March 4 and July 9 polls. To eliminate a data bias toward Biden voters, Dr. Jetta adjusted the weighting to reflect stated 2020 Presidential voter preference. As such, the results of the March and July polls have been restated to be consistent with the August weighting. Results are below.

Methodology: From Aug. 12-14, 2022, 1,200 adults 18+ were surveyed, with 996 Registered Voters and 610 Likely Voters. Results weighted to age/gender of U.S. Census and then by 2020 Presidential vote preference. Source: Center Street PAC via Momentive AI.

Analytical Notes:

  1. Source: Momentive/Survey Monkey
  2. All data is weighted by age/gender according to the U.S. Census.
  3. Weighting for prior release in July also weighted by party affiliation.
  4. Given there was still bias toward Biden voters, weighting was changed to reflect stated 2020 Presidential voter preference. (See data below)
In addition to the Aug. 14, 2022 poll, Floridians were surveyed on March 4, 2022 and July 9, 2022. Dr. Jetta saw that Trump voters were underrepresented in the samples of the March 4 and July 9 polls. To eliminate a data bias toward Biden voters, Dr. Jetta adjusted the weighting to reflect stated 2020 Presidential voter preference. As such, the results of the March and July polls have been restated to be consistent with the August weighting. Results are below.

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About Center Street PAC

Center Street (www.centerstreetpac.com) is a nonpartisan political action committee designed to combat the destructive tribalism that threatens our democracy. Center Street is focused on beating the extremist incumbents and challengers who divide us by supporting rational political candidates who promote stable and effective governing policies. Center Street’s candidates are Democrats & Republicans who have shown political courage and a willingness to put the country above a party’s interests.