Good Thursday morning.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings had been gaining momentum in her bid to boot U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio from office, but a new poll indicates she may have hit her ceiling.
Center Street PAC’s latest measure of the race shows Rubio with a 52% to 41% advantage among likely voters, with 7% of voters undecided. The gap shrinks to 46%-39% among registered voters, but they’re less reliable by definition.
This is the third poll that Center Street PAC has published on the race, and the prior measures — released in March and July — showed Demings was making significant gains in favorability and among unaffiliated and undecided voters.
That momentum did not carry into the new poll, which found that about one in five voters were unaware of her. Among those who said they were familiar with Demings, the sentiment is trending toward neutrality.
“Based on the data, Demings has more work to do to improve her awareness and image with voters. Right now, her campaign has to focus on the basics: getting Demings established in voters’ minds,” said Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. “There will be time down the line to get to issues and comparison ads against Rubio.”
Unseating Rubio was always going to be an uphill battle, but Republicans’ advantage in voter enthusiasm and voter registration is only making it tougher, the committee said, especially with Florida Republicans sticking by their guy more so than GOP voters in other states.
“In the Senate races we have seen in Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah, 15% of Republicans or more have crossed the party line to vote for the Democrat. But Florida Republicans are staying loyal to Rubio. Consistently, less than 10% have said they’d cross over to Demings,” said Center Street Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Kurt Jetta.
The Center Street poll was conducted Aug. 12-14, 2022. Its sample included 1,200 adults, including 996 registered voters and 610 likely voters.
Here are some other thoughts:
— Just like in Dr. Strangelove, there are messages written on the bombs the U.S. is sending east to be used against the Russians. But Americans aren’t writing them — according to WaPo’s John Hudson and Kostiantyn Khudov, people from America and elsewhere are paying Ukrainians to scrawl them on as part of a novel fundraising effort.
— The fall semester is here. As college students head back to campus and start filling lecture halls, Florida Politics is highlighting those in The Process who help make Florida’s higher education system one of the nation’s best.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@CharlieCrist: Ron DeSantis bragging about a $22 billion budget surplus in front of a “Recruiting Teachers” sign is a perfect encapsulation of the “leadership” we’ve seen from him these past 4 years. PS, we’re ranked 48th in teacher pay and have 9,000 current vacancies.
Florida Primary Turnout Update (8/17/22)
1,608,651 votes cast.
GOP: 654k / Dem: 732k / Other: 223k
Dems lead by 78,196 ballots
Highest GOP turnout: Sumter (26.1%)
Highest Dem turnout: Sumter (33.3%)
Highest overall turnout: Sumter (24.7%)@SumterFLDems @rlcLakeSumter pic.twitter.com/V3GZcrJvdN
— Fresh Take Florida (@FreshTakeFla) August 17, 2022
Florida’s newest newspaper.
FPL definitely going to tail these reporters pic.twitter.com/yRbdjDt2lC
— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) August 17, 2022
—@NateMonroeTU: the thing that really stands out to me is the decidedly pro-DeSantis take woven throughout the gags — almost as if someone is goading him into taking on FPL
—@andrewsparfea: An important reminder from Bay County Superintendent (Bill) Husfelt — teachers without formal education training leave the profession at more quickly than those who are professionally trained — sometimes MUCH quicker, like within the first week of school. @FloridaEA #FundOurFutureFL
—@scontorno: According to the draft, pension fund managers can’t consider “social, political, or ideological interests” when investing, just risk/return of investment. Notably, the policy doesn’t explicitly prohibit environmental considerations, a key pillar of ESG.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.