- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is trailing Democratic opponent Val Demings in a new poll.

A University of North Florida survey found Ms. Demings, who represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District, leading Mr. Rubio, a Republican seeking a third term, 48% to 44%. 

The poll surveyed registered voters, not likely voters, “and Republicans are generally more likely to turn in November,” said Michael Binder, who runs UNF’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

But the poll results show that Sunshine State Democrats are more enthusiastic about voting in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

When asked how the Supreme Court decision would influence their voting behavior under the threat of Florida banning or strictly limiting abortion, 78% of Democrats said it made them more likely to vote in the midterm elections.

The poll found Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to lead Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, two Democrats vying for a spot on the November ballot. Mr. DeSantis is ahead of the two Democrats by about 8 percentage points. 

The poll questioned likely Democratic voters and found Ms. Fried leads Mr. Crist, 47% to 43% after trailing him in most polling ahead of the Democratic gubernatorial primary next week.

“Fried seems to have reversed the eight-point lead that Crist had when we asked registered Democrats about vote choice in February,” Mr. Binder said. “It’s possible that the overturning of Roe v. Wade changed the make-up of this race, and has particularly energized women that are almost 20 points more likely to vote for her.”

The Florida primary is Aug. 23. 

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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