September 9, 2016 - Republicans Lead In Florida, North Carolina, Ohio Senate Races; Pennsylvania Is Close, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format

  • FLORIDA: Rubio 50 - Murphy 43
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Burr 49 - Ross 43
  • OHIO: Portman 51 - Strickland 40
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Toomey 46 - McGinty 45

Republican incumbents lead among likely voters in U.S. Senate races in the critical swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while Pennsylvania's see-saw race remains too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

The closest race is in Pennsylvania, where Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey has 46 percent, to Democratic challenger Katie McGinty's 45 percent. This compares to the results of an August 11 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing McGinty at 47 percent and Toomey at 44 percent.

Senate matchups in other swing states show:
  • Florida - Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, his Democratic challenger, 50 - 43 percent;
  • North Carolina - Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr leads Democratic challenger Deborah Ross 49 - 43 percent;
  • Ohio - Republican incumbent Rob Portman buries former Gov. Ted Strickland, his Democratic challenger, 51 - 40 percent.
"The U.S. Senate races in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and perhaps Pennsylvania show Democrats face an uphill climb," said Peter A. Brown, assistant Director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

"All four GOP candidates are running ahead of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, some by just a bit, but some substantially."

Florida

The racial and gender gaps among Florida likely voters, apparent in the presidential contest, carry into the U.S. Senate race. Rubio leads 55 - 35 percent among men and 56 - 37 percent among white voters. Murphy leads 51 - 45 percent among women and 56 - 38 percent among non-white voters.

Rubio leads 89 - 6 percent among Republicans and 53 - 37 percent among independent voters. Murphy takes Democrats 91 - 7 percent.

"Democrats hoped they could use Sen. Marco Rubio's change of heart on running for reelection against him, but so far the former presidential candidate has been able to keep a narrow lead," Brown said. "Without Rubio's double-digit lead among independent voters he would be in much more trouble."

North Carolina

In the North Carolina governor's race, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic challenger, leads Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory 51 - 44 percent among likely voters. Independent voters back the challenger 52 - 43 percent. Cooper also leads 83 - 14 percent among Democrats, while Republicans back McCrory 88 - 11 percent.

While the North Carolina U.S. Senate race pits a man against a woman, there is no gender gap among likely voters as Burr leads 49 - 43 percent among men and 48 - 43 percent among women.

There is a racial gap as white voters back Burr 63 - 30 percent, while non-white voters back Ross 69 - 22 percent.

Burr leads 94 - 4 percent among Republicans and 50 - 37 percent among independent voters. Ross leads 82 - 14 percent among Democrats.

"Although Republicans Donald Trump and Gov. Pat McCrory are having difficulty in the Tar Heel State, GOP Sen. Richard Burr leads in his reelection fight due to stronger allegiance among the party faithful and a greater appeal to independent voters," Brown said.

Ohio

Former Gov. Ted Strickland is facing a blowout at the hands of Sen. Rob Portman in part because Strickland is not getting the support from women likely voters that Democrats usually enjoy. Women go 46 percent for Portman and 45 percent for Strickland. Men back the Republican 57 - 33 percent. White voters back Portman 57 - 35 percent while non-white voters go Democratic 62 - 22 percent.

Portman leads 92 - 4 percent among Republicans and 53 - 36 percent among independent voters. Democrats back Strickland 82 - 9 percent.

"Sen. Portman has taken a double-digit lead in Ohio where the once tight race seems to be moving away from Democrat Ted Strickland, a former governor who showed strength early but whose chances have faded recently," Brown said. "And with this large deficit, Strickland may find it difficult to raise money."

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race could go down to the wire. Independent voters are divided with 46 percent for Democrat Katie McGinty and 42 percent for Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Toomey leads 53 - 36 percent among men, 52 - 42 percent among white voters and 83 - 11 percent among Republicans.

McGinty leads 53 - 40 percent among women, 61 - 26 percent among non-white voters and 82 - 13 percent among Democrats.

"High drama in too-close-to-call Pennsylvania as Katie McGinty goes toe to toe with Sen. Pat Toomey in each passing survey," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"The tightest of the key Senate races has seen a McGinty rise from near obscurity to a contender the GOP is very worried about."

From August 31 - September 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 601 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

From August 29 - September 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 751 North Carolina likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points;
  • 775 Ohio likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points;
  • 778 Pennsylvania likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 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, North Carolina 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.

3a. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Murphy or Rubio?
                     FLORIDA LIKELY VOTERS................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Murphy               43%     6%    91%    37%    35%    51%    38%    37%
Rubio                50     89      7     53     55     45     57     55
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      -      1      -
DK/NA                 6      5      3      9      9      4      4      7
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Murphy               27%    48%    37%    56%
Rubio                63     49     56     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      -
DK/NA                 9      3      6      5
 
 
3b. (NC only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Deborah Ross the Democrat and Richard Burr the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Ross or Burr?
                     NORTH CAROLINA LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Ross                 43%     4%    82%    37%    43%    43%    41%    22%
Burr                 49     94     14     50     49     48     56     68
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -
DK/NA                 8      2      4     13      8      9      3     10
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Ross                 30%    31%    30%    69%
Burr                 62     63     63     22
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -
DK/NA                 8      6      7     10
 
 
3c. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Strickland or Portman?
                     OHIO LIKELY VOTERS...................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Strickland           40%     4%    82%    36%    33%    45%    42%    31%
Portman              51     92      9     53     57     46     50     61
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      -      1      1      1
DK/NA                 8      3      9     10      9      7      7      7
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Strickland           30%    40%    35%    62%
Portman              62     53     57     22
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      1      -
DK/NA                 8      6      7     15
 
 
3d. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward McGinty or Toomey?
                     PENNSYLVANIA LIKELY VOTERS...........................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
McGinty              45%    11%    82%    46%    36%    53%    46%    39%
Toomey               46     83     13     42     53     40     50     53
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      3      2      1      -      2
DK/NA                 7      6      5      8      9      6      3      6
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
McGinty              34%    48%    42%    61%
Toomey               56     48     52     26
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      2      -
DK/NA                 7      3      5     13
 
 
4. (NC only) If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Roy Cooper the Democrat and Pat McCrory the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Cooper or McCrory?
                     NORTH CAROLINA LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Cooper               51%    11%    83%    52%    50%    52%    51%    30%
McCrory              44     88     14     43     45     44     47     65
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      -      1      -
DK/NA                 5      1      4      4      5      5      2      5
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Cooper               38%    40%    39%    75%
McCrory              57     57     57     20
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      3      4      5
 
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: Sample and Methodology detail Trend Tables
North Carolina: Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: Sample and Methodology detail Trend Tables
Pennsylvania: Sample and Methodology detail Trend Tables