West Long Branch, NJ – Hillary Clinton holds a 9 point lead over Donald Trump in the crucial swing state of Florida. The Monmouth University Poll also finds incumbent Marco Rubio leading either of his two main Democratic challengers to retain his U.S. Senate seat, although by varying margins. Rubio’s endorsement of Trump could pose a few problems for him in November and his late decision to run for reelection is seen primarily as a move to boost his future presidential prospects.
Among Sunshine State voters likely to participate in November’s presidential election, 48% currently support Clinton and 39% back Trump. Another 6% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1% support Green Party candidate Jill Stein, with 5% who are undecided.
Among self-identified Democrats, 92% support Clinton while 4% choose Trump and just 3% back a third party candidate. Trump has less support among his own party base, with 79% of Republicans who back their nominee, compared to 12% who support Clinton and 5% who back another candidate. Clinton leads Trump among independents by 47% to 30%, with 11% supporting Johnson and 2% backing Stein.
Clinton has an overwhelming lead among Hispanic, black and Asian voters who make up about one-third of the electorate, garnering 69% of this group’s vote to 19% for Trump. Trump leads among white voters by 51% to 37%, but there is a significant gender split. Among white men, Trump has a 64% to 24% advantage. Among white women, Clinton leads by 49% to 39%. There is no difference by educational attainment, with Trump ahead among white voters without a college degree (51% to 39%) as well as white college graduates (50% to 36%).
Clinton’s 50 point lead among non-white voters is similar to Barack Obama’s advantage over Mitt Romney with this group four years ago (49 points according to the 2012 Florida exit poll). Trump’s 14 point lead among white voters is smaller than Romney’s 24 point win with this group. This difference is due mainly to a widening gender gap. Trump is doing somewhat better than Romney did among white men (+40 points compared to +32), but much worse among white women (-10 points compared to +17).
“The gender split among white voters in Florida is huge. Men are drawn to Trump’s message while women are not. These offsetting factors give Clinton the edge,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Florida voters hold an equally negative view of both major party nominees. Just over 1-in-3 voters (36%) have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 50% hold an unfavorable view of her. Likewise, 33% have a favorable opinion of Trump while 54% hold an unfavorable view of him.
Clinton has a slight edge when it comes to who will better handle key issue areas. On the economy and jobs, 49% pick Clinton and 46% choose Trump. On handling the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil, 48% pick Clinton and 45% choose Trump.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, Marco Rubio currently leads two Democratic members of Congress who are vying to challenge him, although by varying degrees of comfort. Rubio currently holds a small 48% to 43% edge over Patrick Murphy, with 3% saying they will support another candidate. The incumbent’s lead is larger over Alan Grayson at 50% to 39%, with 5% saying they will vote for another candidate.
More Florida voters approve (47%) than disapprove (39%) of the job Rubio has done in his term as U.S. Senator. Also, 40% of Florida voters hold a favorable opinion of Rubio and 33% have an unfavorable view, with 27% expressing no opinion of him personally. Rubio’s Democratic opponents are not as well known. Murphy earns a 22% favorable and 10% unfavorable rating, with 68% having no opinion. Grayson has a 14% favorable and 21% unfavorable rating, with 66% having no opinion.
Most voters say that Rubio’s decision to run for reelection was more to improve his chances for a future presidential run (53%) rather than a desire to serve the public (25%). He initially said that he would not run for reelection but changed his mind after ending his presidential bid.
Rubio’s eventual endorsement of Trump surprised many observers after their heated exchanges during the primary campaign. Most Florida voters (63%), though, are actually unaware that Rubio gave his support to Trump and most say that this endorsement will not affect their vote either for president (83%) or for senator (64%). Among the remainder, 11% say Rubio’s endorsement will make them less likely to vote for Trump and 5% say it makes them more likely. In the Senate race, though, 25% say the endorsement actually makes them less likely to vote for Rubio while just 9% say it makes them more likely.
“Rubio’s endorsement of Trump could come back to bite him if more voters actually learn about it. It remains to be seen whether the eventual Democratic nominee can turn this to his advantage in the general election campaign,” said Murray.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from August 12 to 15, 2016 with 402 Florida residents likely to vote in the November election. This sample has a margin of error of +4.9 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
QUESTIONS AND RESULTS
(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)
1/2. If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the Libertarian, or Jill Stein of the Green Party? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
39% Donald Trump
48% Hillary Clinton
6% Gary Johnson
1% Jill Stein
<1% (VOL) Other candidate
5% (VOL) Undecided
3. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Marco Rubio the Republican, Patrick Murphy the Democrat, or some other candidate? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Marco Rubio or Patrick Murphy?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
48% Marco Rubio
43% Patrick Murphy
3% Other candidate
5% (VOL) Undecided
4. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Marco Rubio the Republican, Alan Grayson the Democrat, or some other candidate? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Marco Rubio or Patrick Murphy?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
50% Marco Rubio
39% Alan Grayson
5% Other candidate
6% (VOL) Undecided
Regardless of who you may support for president…
[QUESTIONS 5 & 6 WERE ROTATED]
5. Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
13% No opinion
6. Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
14% No opinion
[QUESTIONS 7 & 8 WERE ROTATED]
7. Who do you trust more to handle the economy and jobs – Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
4% (VOL) Neither
1% (VOL) Don’t know
8. Who do you trust more to handle the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil – Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
4% (VOL) Neither
2% (VOL) Don’t know
Turning to the Senate race…
[QUESTIONS 9 THROUGH 11 WERE ROTATED]
9. Is your general impression of Marco Rubio favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
27% No opinion
10. Is your general impression of Patrick Murphy favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
68% No opinion
11. Is your general impression of Alan Grayson favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
66% No opinion
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Marco Rubio is doing as U.S. senator?
14% (VOL) No opinion
13. Do you think the reason Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election to the Senate is more to serve the public or more to improve his chances for a future presidential run? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED]
25% More to serve the public
53% More to improve his chances for a future presidential run
8% (VOL) Both
14% (VOL) Don’t know
14. Have you heard that Marco Rubio decided to endorse Donald Trump for president or have you not heard about this?
37% Have heard
63% Have not heard
15. Does Rubio’s endorsement of Trump make you more likely or less likely to vote for Rubio, or does it have no impact on your Senate vote?
9% More likely
25% Less likely
64% No impact
1% (VOL) Don’t know
16. Does Rubio’s endorsement of Trump make you more likely or less likely to vote for Trump, or does it have no impact on your presidential vote?
5% More likely
11% Less likely
83% No impact
1% (VOL) Don’t know
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from August 12 to 15, 2016 with a random sample of 402 likely Florida voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 352 drawn from a list of registered voters (200 landline / 152 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 50 cell phone interviews. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and partisanship based on voter list and U.S. Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables