Carlos Beruff trailing badly to Marco Rubio, 73%-6%, according to new poll

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Carlos Beruff, the last man standing between Marco Rubio being renominated by the Republican Party of Florida to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, gets crushed by the GOP incumbent in a poll conducted last week.

A survey by Gainesville-based GOP polling firm Data Targeting, done on the day before and the day of Rubio’s announcement last week he would be re-entering the race, has Rubio up big over Beruff, 73 to 6 percent.

Broken down further, 54 percent would definitely vote for Rubio, 18 percent probably vote for him, and 1 percent is leaning toward the GOP incumbent.

Breaking down Beruff’s support shows that only two percent would definitely vote for the Bradenton developer, three percent would probably vote for him, and one percent lean toward him.

The poll also included former combat military veteran and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox in the mix. Only six percent supported him in the survey. Of course, Wilcox had yet to spend any money on television and reports indicate limited spending associated with online advertising.

Beruff has been the only candidate in the race to go up early with TV ads, but the millions spent don’t seem to have much of a dent with the Florida electorate. The poll shows that 76 percent of those surveyed have no idea who he is.

Despite the hype about 2016 being the year of the outsider, which has been the narrative due to the electoral success of Donald Trump and to a lesser extent, Bernie Sanders, 71 percent say that they believe that Rubio should be re-elected to the Senate, with only 24 percent saying that someone new should get the gig.

When asked in a push-poll fashion that “Marco Rubio is a career politician … breaking a promise he made to the people of Florida many times for over a year that he would not run for re-election,” just 39 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for Rubio. Seventeen percent said it would make them more likely to vote for him, and 38 percent said it made no difference.

When told that Beruff gave campaign contributions to Charlie Crist, Florida Republicans angrily responded negatively in the survey, with 84 percent saying that information made them much less likely to for him.

Meanwhile, Beruff doesn’t appear to be intimidated by the herculean task in front of him. On Tuesday his campaign spokesman, Chris Hartline, sent out a statement called, “Marco Rubio by the numbers,” listening how many votes and percentage of votes he’s missed on the floor and in committees.

The poll of 606 Florida voters took place June 21 and 22, with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.