TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (July 13, 2022) – A new poll from nonpartisan political action committee Center Street PAC (www.centerstreetpac.com) shows Florida Senator Marco Rubio leads Congresswoman Val Demings (R-FL) 45% to 40% among Florida voters, with 16% undecided. Among Likely Voters, Rubio leads 50% to 42%, with 8% undecided.
However, momentum shifted significantly in favor of Demings, who saw a 13% improvement over March 2022.
Demings made major gains among unaffiliated voters. The survey showed 37% of unaffiliated voters preferred Deming to 29% for Rubio, with 33% undecided.
“Marco’s still the favorite, but what’s interesting is that he’s sort of stalled out. He has a motivated base of voters locked in, but he’s not making any new pitch to draw in new voters,” says Center Street Co-Founder Jacob Perry. “The other issue is that there’s no constituency that’s particularly excited about Rubio. Democrats obviously don’t like him, but neither do Trump Republicans. Val outraised him two to one, but also outspent him, and that spending really paid off in building her Awareness numbers.”
The data shows Demings picked up huge swatches of Undecideds with her big media investments, and her strong Favorability suggests additional spending will pay similar dividends.
“Demings demonstrates real strength in candidate Favorability, as she is +16 among those aware of her. But she still has gaps in Name Awareness, even with the 12-point improvement. She’ll need to build her 77% to 95% to be at parity with Rubio. With an opponent who has decent Favorability in his own right, Demings will need to outraise and outspend to have a chance to win in November,” says Center Street Chief Analytics Officer Kurt Jetta.
In addition to overall preference, Demings made significant gains in Name Awareness since March, with a 12-point jump from 65% to 77% among Registered Voters. Rubio’s name recognition stayed at 95%. Higher awareness allowed Demings to close the gap in Preference from an 18-point deficit to a 5 point deficit.
Awareness will play a critical role in shifting persuadable voters toward or away from Demings. While undecided voters tend to wait until the last minute to choose, persuadable voters are those without enough information to form a strong favorable or unfavorable opinion of the candidates.
“Demings has what we refer to as strong CTP – Conversion to Preference. Once people become aware of her, the like her and support her,” says Jetta.
“The real gap is that Demings has much lower Very Unfavorables than Rubio, at 15% vs 27%, so we should expect some Rubio efforts to depress that number,” says Jetta.
“Val Demings still has ground to make up, but we’re seeing motivated voters are moving strongly for her. The more she tells her story, the more people are moving,” says Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. “Between the shifts in preference, awareness and favorability, and a number of conversations we’re having with Florida donors, there’s reason to be optimistic in supporting Val.”
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.
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.