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New poll says 49% of Floridians disapprove of Marco Rubio’s performance in Senate

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Marco Rubio appears to be in free fall in Florida when it comes to how the voters fell about him, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Less than two months after registered Republicans repudiated his presidential candidacy in the state’s presidential primary, 49 percent of all Floridians disapprove of his performance in the senate, with just 42 percent supporting him. Among independents, 56 percent disapprove of his performance.

Rubio is in the twilights of his first term in the senate, having declared a year ago when he ran for president that he would not run for reelection to the seat he won spectacularly in 2010. He’s maintained that stance, despite overtures after his presidential dreams crumbled after Donald Trump crushed him by 19 percentage points in March.

Rubio’s senate colleague, Democrat Bill Nelson, has a 47 percent approval rating, with 26 percent disapproving, and 28 percent not answering.

Meanwhile, although Rick Scott was able to garner enough votes to beat Alex Sink in 2010 and Charlie Crist in 2014, he consistently has been underwater in public opinion polls since being elected, and the Q poll released on Wednesday is no exception, with 49 percent disapproving of the job the Florida Governor is currently doing, with 40 percent supporting him. Sixty-five percent of Republicans support Scott, while 73 percent oppose him. Independents come down similar to the entire poll, with 51 percent disapproving, and 39 percent supporting him.

President Obama is underwater as well, with 48 percent supporting him and 50 percent disapproving of his performance. Like Scott, Obama has often been underwater in at least Quinnipiac polls over the years, despite the fact that he won the Sunshine State twice when he up for election.

However, Floridians back the president in his attempt to get his Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, an up or down vote from the U.S. Senate. By a 51 percent to 33 percent margin, Floridians support Garland’s nomination to the high court, and by a 54 percent to 40 percent margin, Floridians say the Senate should consider his nomination now, and not wait until the next president is elected in November, which is the current attitude of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Quinnipiac survey was conducted from April 27 – May 8, 2016 throughout the state of Florida. Responses are reported for 1,051 self-identified registered voters with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points.

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.

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