American democracy is a complex system with multiple levels, branches, and built-in checks and balances, and it works best when people get informed and show up to vote for all offices. Of course, Floridians, by and large, aren't quite ready to even start thinking about who will replace Marco Rubio in the Senate.
To be fair, the Senate primaries are still less than a year away, and the general election won't be until next November. Still, when it comes to the men running for the office, most Floridians remain uninformed about them, according to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP).
On the Democratic side, liberal Alan Grayson has opened a bit of a lead over his moderate and establishment-endorsed rival Patrick Murphy. Grayson leads Murphy 33 to 27. PPP points out this is "thanks largely to a 44/21 advantage with voters who describe themselves as 'very liberal.'" However, when 39 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided, that kind of a lead this early in the race means nothing.
Republicans are even less sure about their candidates. The poll found that 52 percent aren't sure for whom they'd vote. Rep. David Jolly gets 18 percent, compared to 15 percent for Rep. Ron DeSantis and just 14 percent for Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. By the way, Jolly and DeSantis each have only 37 percent name recognition. The lieutenant governor's name recognition is just 31 percent despite serving in a
In the general election, Murphy appears to be the favorite. He has slight leads over all three Republicans. Grayson trails Jolly and DeSantis but does have a lead over Lopez-Cantera.
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Of course, there's one possibility that could turn this race upside-down, and that's Marco Rubio dropping out of his run for president and seeking Senate re-election. Never mind the fact that Rubio has pledged not to run for re-election even if he does drop out early. Never mind the fact that reports suggest Rubio doesn't even like serving in the Senate that much. PPP just wanted to see what would happen. As it turns out, he'd lead Murphy 46 to 40 and Grayson 48 to 38.
The poll also decided to ask Floridians what they'd think of Rick Scott challenging Sen. Bill Nelson. Nelson would win 46-42 in that hypothetical matchup.
Oh, and despite an earlier poll from another firm showing Scott with an almost positive approval rating, PPP found that 45 percent of Floridians disapprove of the governor's job approval, compared to 43 percent who do (which is still technically in the poll's +/-3.4 percent margin of error).