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New survey shows U.S. Senate race in Florida is getting closer

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New survey shows U.S. Senate race in Florida is getting closer

Jun 12, 2024 | 5:31 pm ET
By Mitch Perry
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New survey shows U.S. Senate race in Florida is getting closer
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Screenshot of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell on a Zoom conference call on April 19, 2024.

The Florida Democratic Party is extolling a new public opinion survey that shows Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, their likely candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Rick Scott this fall, just 2 percentage points behind the Republican incumbent.

But Florida Republicans immediately denounced the survey as far out of line with every other poll published about the race.

The survey of 878 adults conducted by Mainstreet Research for Florida Atlantic University last weekend showed that if the election were held today among likely voters, Scott would have just a 2-percentage point lead, 45%-43%, by far the closest that any major poll conducted on the likely matchup has shown to date.

“Rick Scott’s toxic plans to enact a national abortion ban, slash Social Security and Medicare, and raise taxes on working families are out-of-step with Floridians. In November, they’ll fire Scott once and for all,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Alex Wood in a press release.

“It’s no secret that Floridians are fed up with Rick Scott and his extreme policies – we’ve been hearing it from voters in every corner of the state for months,” added Mucarsel-Powell campaign manager Ben Waldron. “Today’s poll confirms what the Debbie For Florida campaign has know all along: the more Debbie Mucarsel-Powell travels the state and shows Florida voters what she stands for, the tighter this race will become.”

But Florida Republicans immediately dismissed the poll as an outlier.

“Yes, I’ve seen the poll,” Scott spokesperson Chris Hartline said on X. “No, I have no comment. Yes, I think you’re an idiot if you believe those numbers are anything but a funny prank on Florida political reporters. Now back to our regularly scheduled Wednesday.”

“Poll has a D+4 sample, FL is R+6 (turnout will be better) so Scott is up 12; consistent with other polling,” said Evan Power, the Republican Party of Florida chair, on X.

A similar FAU poll in April had Scott up by 17 percentage points over Mucarsel-Powell.

Becoming known

“Mucarsel-Powell was largely unknown in earlier surveys,” said Luzmarina Garcia, assistant professor of political science at FAU, in a statement. “However, as voters have been introduced to her, she has been gaining in the race. If this trend holds, it could be close in November.”

The FAU poll found that former President Donald Trump continues to lead President Joe Biden in Florida. Among likely voters, Trump was 49% to 43% for Biden, a lead of 6 percentage points.

The poll of 878 adults in Florida was conducted completely online and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%.