July 14, 2016 - GOP Senators Sweep Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Strickland 7 Points Down In Ohio Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Republican incumbent senators have solid leads over Democratic challengers in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Noteworthy is Ohio where former Gov. Ted Strickland, who had an early lead but now trails Sen. Rob Portman by 7 percentage points, 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.

The U.S. Senate matchups show:
  • Florida - Sen. Marco Rubio over U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 50 - 37 percent, and Rubio leading U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, another possible Democratic challenger 50 - 38 percent;
  • Ohio - Sen. Rob Portman over former Gov. Ted Strickland 47 - 40 percent;
  • Pennsylvania - Sen. Pat Toomey over Democrat Katie McGinty 49 - 39 percent.
"The numbers seem to be breaking the Republican way in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, at least when it comes to the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Democrats made fun of Sen. Marco Rubio when he opted for a last-minute re-election bid in Florida, but he may be on the way to a last laugh, having quickly opened double digit leads over both Democratic challengers.

"In Ohio, Sen. Portman had trailed for much of the campaign, but now has moved clearly ahead of Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, a former governor. In Pennsylvania, incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey, who has led from the start, maintains a double-digit margin."

"Many talking heads have suggested that with Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, Republican Senate candidates might suffer," Brown added. "But at least in these three key states, the Republican Senate candidates are running ahead of Trump and don't seem to be hurt by their shared party label."

President Barack Obama is under water with negative job approval ratings in each state, tumbling from improved approval ratings in a June 22 Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll:
  • 44 - 53 percent in Florida, down from a 54 - 42 percent approval rating;
  • 47 - 50 percent in Ohio, virtually unchanged from his 48 - 50 percent score last month;
  • 45 - 53 percent in Pennsylvania, down from his 51 - 47 percent approval in June.
Florida

In Florida, Sen. Rubio leads Rep. Murphy 54 - 33 percent among men and 47 - 40 percent among women, with similar results in a Rubio-Grayson matchup.

Rubio does better among non-white voters than most Republican candidates, trailing Murphy 48 - 34 percent. White voters back Rubio 59 - 31 percent.

Independent voters back Rubio 51 - 32 percent.

Rubio gets a divided 46 - 43 percent job approval rating.

Voters approve 42 - 29 percent of the job Sen. Bill Nelson is doing and give Gov. Rick Scott a split 43 - 44 percent approval rating.

"The breadth of Sen. Rubio's lead against Rep. Patrick Murphy, who has the backing of the Democratic leadership, is impressive. He has a 19-point margin among independent voters and scores 10 points better among Republicans than Murphy does among Democrats."

Ohio

Gender and racial gaps are wider in Ohio as men back Portman 55 - 35 percent, while women back Strickland 46 - 41 percent. White voters go Republican 52 - 37 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 59 - 23 percent.

Independent voters back Portman 49 - 39 percent.

Ohio voters approve 46 - 35 percent of the job Portman is doing and give him a 40 - 32 percent favorability rating.

Strickland gets a slightly negative 38 - 42 percent favorability rating.

Voters approve 48 - 30 of the job Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing and approve 58 - 32 percent of the job Gov. John Kasich is doing.

"There's a seeming paradox about the U.S. Senate race in Ohio. Democrat Ted Strickland, who will be 75 years old next month, does best among young voters, beating incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman 49 - 36 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old. Portman, who is 60 years old, scores best among voters over 65 years old, beating Strickland 51 - 35 percent," Brown said.

Pennsylvania

The man-woman matchup in the Pennsylvania Senate race produces only a small gender gap. Men back Toomey 53 - 35 percent, while women are divided with 45 percent for Toomey and 42 percent for McGinty.

There is a larger racial gap as white voters go Republican 55 - 35 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 54 - 23 percent.

Pennsylvania voters approve 47 - 39 percent of the job Toomey is doing and give him a 45 - 34 percent favorability rating.

McGinty gets a split 29 - 29 percent favorability rating and 41 percent don't know enough about her to form an opinion.

Voters approve 44 - 32 percent of the job Robert Casey Jr. is doing and disapprove 50 - 40 percent of the job Gov. Tom Wolf is doing.

"Republicans, at least in Pennsylvania, can exhale. Sen. Pat Toomey has a comfortable lead in his bid to keep this GOP Senate seat safe. A welcome development in the turbulent and polarizing landscape where Donald Trump roams," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

From June 30 - July 11 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,015 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points;
  • 955 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points;
  • 982 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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/quinnipiacpoll Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

8a. (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               37%     -      -
Rubio                50      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                 8      -      -
 
 
8b. (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               40%     -      -
Beruff               34      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      -      -
DK/NA                19      -      -
 
 
8c. (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              38%     -      -
Rubio                50      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      -      -
DK/NA                 8      -      -
 
 
8d. (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              38%     -      -
Beruff               38      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                19      -      -
 
 
8e. (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            -     40%     -
Portman               -     47      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      3      -
DK/NA                 -      9      -
 
 
8f. (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      -     18      -
REFUSED               -      2      -
 
 
8g. (OH only) Is your opinion of Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     40%     -
Unfavorable           -     32      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     27      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
8h. (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               -      -     39%
Toomey                -      -     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      3
DK/NA                 -      -      9
 
 
8i. (PA only) Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     45%
Unfavorable           -      -     34
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     19
REFUSED               -      -      2
 
 
8j. (PA only) Is your opinion of Katie McGinty favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     29%
Unfavorable           -      -     29
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     41
REFUSED               -      -      1
 
 
9. 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%         40%
Disapprove           44          32          50
DK/NA                13          10          11
 
 
10-11. 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              42%         46%         48%         46%         44%         47%
Disapprove           29          43          30          35          32          39
DK/NA                30          12          22          19          24          13
 
 
11a. (PA only) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kathleen Kane is handling her job as State Attorney General?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve               -      -     22%
Disapprove            -      -     55
DK/NA                 -      -     22
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?