Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio could be widening what was recently a narrow lead over Democrat Patrick Murphy, according to two new statewide polls released Sunday.
Both polls were conducted last week, during the same time period three other polls were done -- two of which also had Rubio leading (albeit by narrower margins) and one that had them tied.
Both campaigns are, not unsurprisingly, promoting only the polls that favor their position.
Rubio has touted these two new polls, along with a mid-October Bloomberg poll that had Rubio 10 points up, as showing him running away with the race. Meanwhile, Murphy -- as recently as Sunday -- has said the race is "dead tied" between him and Rubio -- a reference to two polls in October that found the pair evenly matched.
In the new NBC/WSJ/Marist survey, Rubio had 51 percent support among 779 likely voters surveyed, compared to 43 percent support for Murphy. Four percent supported another candidate and 2 percent were undecided. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. (Among registered voters, Rubio's advantage was the same.)
By comparison, the previous NBC/WSJ/Marist survey three weeks prior had Rubio up by just 2 percentage points, which indicates he's growing his lead.
For the new NYT Upshot / Siena poll of 814 likely voters, Rubio led Murphy 51 percent to 42 percent. Five percent were undecided and 2 percent said they wouldn't vote in the race. The survey, done Oct. 25-27, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
“Marco Rubio is running 7 points ahead of Donald Trump in Florida and has established himself as a front-runner to keep his seat in the Senate,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Before these two polls were released Sunday, Rubio still held an edge over Murphy but polls indicated Murphy was narrowing the gap in October.