In the U.S. Senate race, Florida Incumbent Marco Rubio leads Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy by only three points, which is within the margin of error for the most recent Quinnipiac University Poll. Rubio's also ahead of his other Democratic opponent, Alan Grayson, by six points.
“The latest Quinnipiac poll finds that the Florida Senate race is a dead heat," says the poll's assistant director Peter Brown. "When Senator Marco Rubio is matched against Congressman Patrick Murphy, Mr. Rubio has 48 percent. Forty-five percent (is) for Congressman Murphy. That’s a three percent difference, and that’s within the margin of error of the poll.”
Brown attributes Rubio’s slight lead to his support among independent voters.
“Mr. Rubio is in the position he’s in because he’s winning independent voters by 10 points, which is a significant number of votes," he says. "That’s putting him where he is. If he were not doing as well among independents, Mr. Rubio would have more potential problems.”
Brown also says Rubio may be running against his own party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump, at this point in the campaign.
The poll-which surveys the key swing states Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania-finds all incumbent, Republican senators are running better than Trump.
However, Brown says if Trump continues to lag behind in the presidential race, that would logically make it more difficult for other GOP candidates.