August 11, 2016 - Florida, Pennsylvania Senate Races Close, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Portman Has Big Lead In Ohio Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Republican incumbents are fighting to survive in Florida and Pennsylvania, while GOP incumbent Sen. Rob Portman has a large likely voter lead over former Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democratic challenger, in Ohio, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Mirroring the presidential race in these swing states, the Senate races have large gender and racial gaps, 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. This is the first survey of likely voters in this election cycle and can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.

The U.S. Senate matchups show:
  • Florida - Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio with 48 percent and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Democrat, at 45 percent, too close to call. Rubio tops another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, 49 - 43 percent;
  • Ohio - Portman leads Strickland 49 - 40 percent;
  • Pennsylvania - Democratic challenger Katie McGinty at 47 percent, with Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey at 44 percent, too close to call.
"At this stage of the campaign, Republican U.S. Senate candidates may be running against their own presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as much as they are against their Democratic opponents," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"In each of the three key swing states, the incumbent U.S. senators seeking re-election are running better than Trump. But if Trump continues to lag behind in the presidential race, that will make it more difficult for GOP candidates, logic holds, up and down the ballot."

"Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio may have a strong enough lead to escape the Trump effect," Brown added. "But Sen. Marco Rubio, who had been considered a big favorite, might be another story in Florida where he is virtually tied with one of his Democratic challengers. And in Pennsylvania, incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey is basically tied with challenger Katie McGinty, while Trump is running 10 points behind Hillary Clinton in the Keystone State."

Florida

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 56 - 37 percent among men, while women go Democratic 52 - 39 percent. Rubio leads 85 - 5 percent among Republicans and 51 - 41 percent among independent voters. Democrats go to Murphy 88 - 9 percent. White voters back Rubio 53 - 39 percent, as non-white voters go to Murphy 57 - 37 percent.

"Sen. Rubio's 10-point lead among independent voters over Congressman Patrick Murphy and his eight-point edge over Congressman Alan Grayson is the Republican's best weapon in his reelection race," Brown said.

Ohio

In the Ohio Senate race between Republican Sen. Rob Portman and his Democratic challenger, former Gov. Ted Strickland, women are divided 44 - 44 percent, while men back Portman 55 - 36 percent. Portman leads 85 - 9 percent among Republicans and 55 - 33 percent among independent voters. Democrats back Strickland 78 - 11 percent.

White voters back Portman 56 - 34 percent while non-white voters back Strickland 66 - 18 percent.

"The gender gap strongly favors Sen. Portman. While the Republican Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland are evenly divided among women - an unusual outcome - Portman has a 19-point margin among men," Brown said.

Pennsylvania

The gender and racial gaps are wide in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Women back Democratic challenger Katie McGinty 52 - 38 percent, while men back Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey 51 - 41 percent. White voters go 51 percent for Toomey and 42 percent for McGinty. Non-white voters go Democratic 71 - 12 percent.

Toomey leads among Republicans 85 - 7 percent. McGinty takes Democrats 85 - 8 percent. Independent voters are divided, with 46 percent for Toomey and 44 percent for McGinty.

"Is Katie McGinty benefitting from Hillary Clinton's 10-point lead over Donald Trump in Pennsylvania? Is she engaging Sen. Pat Toomey in her own right, or is it a little bit of both?" asked Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Any way you cut it, this first-timer is giving the incumbent a run for his money."

From July 30 - August 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,056 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points;
  • 812 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points;
  • 815 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 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.

11a. (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               45%     5%    88%    41%    37%    52%    42%    36%
Rubio                48     85      9     51     56     39     53     53
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7     10      2      7      6      8      4     10
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Murphy               33%    44%    39%    57%
Rubio                60     47     53     37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -
DK/NA                 7      9      8      5
 
 
11b. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Murphy or Beruff?
                     FLORIDA LIKELY VOTERS................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Murphy               48%     6%    87%    49%    41%    54%    43%    36%
Beruff               34     74      3     29     42     27     42     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      3      1      1      1      2      2      1
DK/NA                17     18      9     20     16     17     13     19
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Murphy               32%    45%    39%    67%
Beruff               51     36     43     16
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      2      1
DK/NA                15     17     16     17
 
 
11c. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Grayson or Rubio?
                     FLORIDA LIKELY VOTERS................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Grayson              43%     3%    82%    41%    36%    49%    35%    34%
Rubio                49     89     10     49     55     42     58     56
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      1      -      1      1      1
DK/NA                 8      7      7      9      8      8      6      9
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Grayson              28%    40%    34%    60%
Rubio                64     51     57     32
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      2      1      -
DK/NA                 7      8      8      8
 
 
11d. (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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Grayson or Beruff?
                     FLORIDA LIKELY VOTERS................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Grayson              43%     3%    83%    40%    38%    48%    35%    32%
Beruff               39     76      5     39     46     32     47     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      2      1      2      2      1
DK/NA                17     19     11     20     16     19     16     18
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Grayson              27%    39%    33%    63%
Beruff               58     39     48     20
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      1      1
DK/NA                14     20     17     16
 
 
11e. (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%     9%    78%    33%    36%    44%    42%    29%
Portman              49     85     11     55     55     44     50     61
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      2      2      1      1      1
DK/NA                10      6     10     10      7     12      7      8
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Strickland           29%    39%    34%    66%
Portman              62     51     56     18
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      1      2
DK/NA                 7      9      8     15
 
 
11f. (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              47%     7%    85%    44%    41%    52%    49%    34%
Toomey               44     85      8     46     51     38     45     58
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -
DK/NA                 9      8      7     10      7     10      6      8
 
                     WHITE.....
                     Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
McGinty              37%    46%    42%    71%
Toomey               59     45     51     12
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      9      7     17
 
 
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: Sample and Methodology detail
Pennsylvania: Sample and Methodology detail