Second poll in a week shows Val Demings and Marco Rubio in dead heat

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EMILY’s List — a national group supporting pro abortion rights candidates — released a poll showing Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tied in Florida’s 2022 U.S. Senate contest.

The poll, done by Change Research, a Democratic polling firm out of California, finds both candidates drew 46% in a survey of likely Florida voters, with 7% saying they are unsure and 2% saying they would not vote.

The poll was shared exclusively with Florida Politics.

Demings is the anticipated Democratic challenger in the November General Election. She first must win the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary Election against several nominal opponents.

It’s the second consecutive poll commissioned by partisans that characterizes the General Election race as essentially tied. A poll released earlier this week by Progress Florida and Florida Watch, two progressive groups, had Rubio and Demings both at 45%.

There haven’t been any polls released on Florida’s U.S. Senate contest by major, unaffiliated outfits released for a while. A poll released in July by Center Street had Rubio up by 8 points. That poll also showed Demings gaining from previous surveys.

Since then, both candidates have gone up on TV with statewide television commercials.

EMILY’s List’s List has endorsed Demings.

The Change Research survey found that Demings has much stronger likability ratings than Rubio. A polling memo from Change Research to EMILY’s List’s List called Rubio “one of the most unpopular public figures in Florida.”

When asked to rate the Demings based on what voters have seen, heard or read, 36% of the likely voters said it was mostly positive, 24% said it was an equal mix of positive or negative responses, and 15% said mostly negative.

For Rubio, 21% said mostly positive, 26% said equal mix, and 34% said mostly negative.

The survey also found that Demings, a three-term Congresswoman from Orlando who had limited statewide recognition, has seen her name ID expanded. The poll found 75% of Florida’s likely voters can now identify her. Rubio, seeking a third term in the Senate, is at 82%.

In the memo to EMILY’s List’s List, Change Research advised that Rubio is underperforming with White voters, especially with White and Republican women voters.

The survey was conducted online, in English and Spanish. It was taken August 2-5 of 1,031 likely voters. Post-stratification was done on region, gender, age, ethnicity, education, and 2020 vote. Given “Republican performance among Florida Latinos in recent elections, this survey was careful to obtain responses from conservative Hispanics,” Change Research noted.

Here is the polling memo:

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