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Poll: Clinton up by 9 points in Florida; Rubio holds his own in Senate race

Trump hurt by huge gap with minorities, women

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

florida mugGAINESVILLE, Florida (CFP) — Buoyed by a whopping 50-point margin among minority voters, Democrat Hillary Clinton has opened up a comfortable lead in the key swing state of Florida, a new poll finds.

But a Monmouth University survey released August 16 found that Clinton’s coattails were not reaching down to the U.S. Senate race, where Republican Marco Rubio held a small lead over both of his possible Democratic opponents.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton

Clinton was the choice of 48 percent of likely voters in the poll, compared to 39 percent for Republican Donald Trump, 6 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Clinton’s lead of 9 points was well outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is very nearly a must-win state for both Clinton and Trump. No candidate has won the White House without carrying the Sunshine State since 1992. No Republican has won without it since 1924.

Key demographic results within the polling data show that Clinton’s lead is largely the result of Trump’s weak support among minorities and women.

Trump was the choice of just 19 percent of black, Latino and Asian voters in the poll; Clinton ran 50 points ahead, at 69 percent.

Clinton also held a 30-point lead among women, a gap twice as large as Trump’s 15-point lead among men. The poll also showed Clinton with a 10-point lead among white women, a group Republican Mitt Romney carried by 17 points in a losing effort in 2012.

Trump’s lead among white voters in the poll was 14 points. By contrast, Romney carried white voters by 24 points in 2014.

Trump also continued to suffer from lingering dissent to his nomination within the GOP. Just 79 percent of Florida Republicans polled said they would support Trump, and he was losing 12 percent of the GOP vote to Clinton.

Clinton did much better among Florida Democrats, getting 94 percent support. Just 4 percent of Democrats in the poll said they would vote for Trump. Clinton also held a 17-point among voters who identify as independents.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

In the U.S. Senate race, the poll showed that Rubio–who changed his mind and opted to run for re-election after losing to Trump in the GOP primaries–is outperforming the top of his party’s ticket.

Rubio polled 48 percent to 43 percent for Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson for his party’s Senate nomination. Rubio’s lead over Grayson was larger, 50 percent to 39 percent.

Grayson and Murphy will square off in an August 30 primary, in which Rubio will also face businessman Carlos Beruff.

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