A new poll released this morning makes crystal clear why national Republicans are begging Marco Rubio to run for re-election.
He's their best hope, by a long shot, of beating Patrick Murphy or Alan Grayson in November, a new Quinnipiac University poll of 975 Florida voters shows.
"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," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "But if Rubio's last-minute decision is to seek re-election, he could be in the driver’s seat."
In the poll from June 8 to June 19, 47 percent of voters said they would pick Rubio over Murphy in a head-to-head matchup if they are the two nominees. If Grayson is the Democrat, Rubio wins 48 to 40. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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Without Rubio in the race, Murphy and Grayson are way ahead of any of the other five Republicans who were in the race as of last week. Of the five lesser known Republicans that were in the race, Murphy beat each by at least 7 percentage points. Grayson, in similar head-to-head matchups, led each by at least 5 percentage points.
In fact, the Republican who matched up best against Murphy was David Jolly, the Congressman who dropped out last week to instead seek re-election in anticipation of Rubio joining the race. Murphy lead Jolly 41-34.
Manatee County land developer Carlos Beruff did worst against Murphy. The poll showed Murphy leads Beruff 43 percent to 31 percent.
If Grayson won the Democratic nomination, Orlando area businessman Todd Wilcox did best against him in the poll. Thirty-nine percent said they would support Grayson, compared to 34 percent for Wilcox. Congressman Ron DeSantis did worst against Grayson, losing 41 percent to 33 percent.
The same poll also shows President Barack Obama is on the upswing with Florida voters. The poll showed 54 percent of voters approve of the job he is doing, with 42 percent disapproving. Obama has not has a higher approval rating since his first year in office in 2009.
Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, continues to get poor marks. Only 43 percent approve of the job he is doing with 46 percent disapproving.
Here are the results of the matchups for the U.S. Senate race in Florida from the poll:
Marco Rubio 47
Patrick Murphy 40
Marco Rubio 48
Alan Grayson 40
Carlos Beruff 31
Carlos Lopez-Cantera 32
Ron DeSantis 32
David Jolly 34
Todd Wilcox 31