Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has successfully raised the negative ratings of his Democratic challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy, as the incumbent has widened his lead in the state’s Senate race, a new poll shows.
While his favorability rating stayed about the same, Murphy’s unfavorable numbers have risen 14 points since August, the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey found. The two-term congressman’s ratings now stand at 27 percent favorable and 25 percent unfavorable.
Rubio’s numbers have not changed significantly since August, according to the poll’s analysis. He holds a 45 percent to 34 percent, favorable to unfavorable rating.
Rubio has also increased his lead over Murphy by 3 points since August, and is now ahead 47 percent to 40 percent among likely voters.
Another key to Rubio’s lead is his big advantage among Hispanic voters in the Sunshine State. They favor the son of Cuban immigrants 53 percent to 38 percent, the poll showed. It is very hard for a Democrat to win Florida nowadays without the Hispanic vote, the Mason Dixon polling memo noted.
The poll surveyed 820 likely voters by telephone from Sept. 27 through Sept. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.