June 22, 2016 - Rubio Leads In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Toomey Up In Pennsylvania, Ohio Senate Race Tied Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Republican incumbent U.S. Senators in three critical swing states fare better today as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida leads either of two Democratic challengers, while Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey outpoints his Democratic challenger and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with a well-known challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a healthy job approval rating, while Republican Gov. Rick Scott in Florida and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania both are under water, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.

In Florida, Sen. Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 47 - 40 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson 48 - 40 percent. Murphy and Grayson are ahead of several largely unknown Republican contenders.

In Ohio, Sen. Portman ties Ted Strickland, the former governor, 42 - 42 percent in a race that has been too close to call for several months.

In Pennsylvania, Sen. Toomey leads Democratic challenger Katie McGinty 49 - 40 percent.

Voters in all three states give President Barack Obama his best job approval ratings in years.

"Will Marco come to the rescue of the GOP?

"With Republican national leaders worried about keeping control of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio might ride to their rescue if he decides to reverse field and seek re-election," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"This Quinnipiac University poll finds Sen. Marco Rubio in good shape when matched against his two potential Democratic opponents," Brown added.

"None of the other Republican candidates for Sen. Rubio's seat has a lead over either of the two Democrats, Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. But if Rubio's last-minute decision is to seek re-election, he could be in the driver's seat.

"In general, this poll of the three major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is good news for the GOP. Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with former Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio. But that is an improvement for Portman, who earlier in the campaign was down as much as 9 points. And in Pennsylvania, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey has a 9-point lead. It is far too early to say he's a sure thing, but he is in good shape."

Florida

The gender and racial gaps that mark the Florida presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are evident but smaller in the Senate race.

In the Rubio-Murphy matchup, men back Rubio 51 - 36 percent, while women are divided, with 44 percent for Rubio and 42 percent for Murphy. White voters go Republican 56 - 33 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 55 - 30 percent.

The results are very similar in the Rubio-Grayson matchup.

Florida voters give Rubio a divided 45 - 44 percent job approval rating, while Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 52 - 22 percent job approval rating.

Gov. Rick Scott gets a slightly negative 43 - 46 percent job approval rating, which is one of his best scores ever.

Florida voters approve 54 - 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his best score in almost four years.

"Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama are doing quite well in Florida. Surprisingly, Republican Gov. Rick Scott also is enjoying some Florida sunshine," Brown said. "Scott has spent most of his six years as governor with negative approval ratings. In this survey he is just about even."

Ohio

Gender, age and racial gaps mark the Ohio U.S. Senate race. Portman leads 46 - 37 percent among men, 48 - 36 percent among white voters and 51 - 34 percent among voters over 65 years old.

Strickland leads 46 - 39 percent among women, 69 - 15 percent among non-white voters and 46 - 27 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old.

Ohio voters give Portman a 44 - 32 percent job approval rating and 39 - 25 percent favorability rating.

Strickland gets a negative 38 - 42 percent favorability rating.

Voters approve 44 - 30 percent of the job Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing and approve 58 - 32 percent of the job Gov. John Kasich is doing.

Ohio voters are divided on President Obama as 48 percent approve of the job he is doing and 50 percent disapprove, his best score in three years.

"The Ohio Senate race is unusual because it is the rare situation in which the challenger, former Gov. Ted Strickland, is better known than the incumbent being challenged. Only 19 percent say they don't know enough about Strickland to form an opinion of him, while 34 percent, one in three voters, say they don't know enough about Sen. Rob Portman," Brown said.

Pennsylvania

While the presidential matchup in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Senate race both feature a Democratic woman running against a Republican man, Sen. Pat Toomey has the advantage of incumbency. He leads 56 - 35 percent among men, while women are divided with 44 percent for Katie McGinty and 42 percent for Toomey.

White voters back the Republican 53 - 38 percent, while non-white voters back the Democrat 53 - 28 percent. There is very little age gap.

Toomey gets a 49 - 38 percent job approval rating and a 44 - 32 percent favorability rating.

McGinty gets a 32 - 28 percent favorability rating and 39 percent don't know enough about her to form an opinion.

Pennsylvania voters approve 47 - 28 percent of the job Sen. Robert Casey Jr. is doing and give Gov. Tom Wolf a negative 41 - 46 percent job approval rating.

President Barack Obama has a 51 - 47 percent job approval rating, his best score in more than three years.

"The GOP's anxiety over shaky Senate seats appears not to apply in Pennsylvania. Sen. Pat Toomey looks good to go so far," said Tim Malloy, assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"And what a difference a year makes. Gov. Tom Wolf wallows in negative territory and President Obama gets the most love from the Keystone State he's seen in three years."

From June 8 - 19 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 975 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points;
  • 971 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points;
  • 950 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

Visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling or www.facebook.com/quinnipiac poll. Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

10a. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Marco Rubio the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               40%     -      -
Rubio                47      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      -      -
DK/NA                10      -      -
 
 
10b. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Carlos Beruff the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               43%     -      -
Beruff               31      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                22      -      -
 
 
10c. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Carlos Lopez-Cantera the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               41%     -      -
Lopez-Cantera        32      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                22      -      -
 
 
10d. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Ron DeSantis the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               42%     -      -
DeSantis             32      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                21      -      -
 
 
10e. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and David Jolly the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               41%     -      -
Jolly                34      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      -      -
DK/NA                20      -      -
 
 
10f. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Todd Wilcox the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               41%     -      -
Wilcox               31      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                22      -      -
 
 
10g. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Marco Rubio the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              40%     -      -
Rubio                48      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      -      -
DK/NA                 8      -      -
 
 
10h. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Carlos Beruff the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              40%     -      -
Beruff               33      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                21      -      -
 
 
10i. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Carlos Lopez-Cantera the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              40%     -      -
Lopez-Cantera        35      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                20      -      -
 
 
10j. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Ron DeSantis the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              41%     -      -
DeSantis             33      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                20      -      -
 
 
10k. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and David Jolly the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              41%     -      -
Jolly                34      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                20      -      -
 
 
10l. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Todd Wilcox the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              39%     -      -
Wilcox               34      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      -      -
DK/NA                21      -      -
 
 
10m. (OH only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Ted Strickland the Democrat and Rob Portman the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Strickland            -     42%     -
Portman               -     42      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      4      -
DK/NA                 -     11      -
 
 
10n. (OH only) Is your opinion of Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     38%     -
Unfavorable           -     42      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     19      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
10o. (OH only) Is your opinion of Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     39%     -
Unfavorable           -     25      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     34      -
REFUSED               -      2      -
 
 
 
10p. (PA only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Katie McGinty the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
McGinty               -      -     40%
Toomey                -      -     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      4
DK/NA                 -      -      8
 
 
10q. (PA only) Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     44%
Unfavorable           -      -     32
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     22
REFUSED               -      -      2
 
 
10r. (PA only) Is your opinion of Katie McGinty favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     32%
Unfavorable           -      -     28
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     39
REFUSED               -      -      1
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (FL) Rick Scott / (OH) John Kasich / (PA) Tom Wolf - is handling his job as Governor?
                     FL          OH          PA
                     Scott       Kasich      Wolf
 
Approve              43%         58%         41%
Disapprove           46          32          46
DK/NA                11          11          13
 
 
12-13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (FL) Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio / (OH) Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman / (PA) Bob Casey Jr., Pat Toomey - is handling his job as United States Senator?
                 FL...............       OH.................     PA...............
                 Nelson      Rubio       Brown       Portman     Casey Jr.  Toomey
 
Approve          52%         45%         44%         44%         47%        49%
Disapprove       22          44          30          32          28         38
DK/NA            25          11          27          23          25         14
 
 
13a. (PA only) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kathleen Kane is handling her job as State Attorney General?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve               -      -     24%
Disapprove            -      -     50
DK/NA                 -      -     26
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?