Amid Donald Trump's controversy over lewd remarks made to women, the University of North Florida has released a poll in which Sen. Marco Rubio has a 6-point lead over Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy, Politico reported.
- Marco Rubio: 47 percent
- Patrick Murphy: 41 percent
- Undecided: 10 percent
The poll, however, was conducted before Friday's uproar after video tapes of Trump using extremely vulgar language against women surfaced.
Michael Binder, the university's pollster said it remains unclear how much damage it could cause Rubio, who has condemned Trumps comments but not withdrawn support.
Rubio reportedly avoided the press and campaign trail as fellow Republicans withdrew their support from the GOP presidential nominee or called on him to resign.
After the tape went public, Rubio tweeted:
Though Rubio condemned Trump's sexually aggressive remarks, Murphy has called Rubio a "coward" for his silence since.
Murphy said Rubio needs to do more to "stand up to Trump" instead of "silently standing by" while Trump "boasts about sexually assaulting women," the Miami Herald reported.
Meanwhile, Binder mocked Murphy saying she wondered if anyone listened to him.
"The most startling difference in this race is that 21 percent of voters have never heard of Patrick Murphy, while only 2 percent have not heard of Marco Rubio, and that is a big number for a US Senate candidate," said Binder.
The poll also revealed that 35 percent had a favorable opinion of Murphy and 29 percent an unfavorable view. While 49 percent found Rubio favorable, 43 percent thought him to be unfavorable.
Rubio rose to fame after he ran for the presidential post only to back out in March after the presidential primary when Trump got the better of him (46 percent to 27 percent).
Three months after the drubbing, Rubio went back on his word and announced he'd run for reelection to the Senate.
Trump is scheduled to have a noon rally at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in West Palm Beach on Thursday which Rubio is not expected to attend.
Murphy, meanwhile, is scheduled for the first time to speak at a Hillary Clinton event in Miami.
"Marco is viewing this situation through a 2016 and a 2020 prism if he decides to run for president," a top Rubio backer told Politico.
"None of us thinks Trump really has a prayer of winning anymore, so the question becomes: What happens to all of his voters? How do we keep these voters in the Republican fold? Poking a stick in their eye by withdrawing an endorsement is bad for Marco in the long term and in the short term: These people might not vote for him, and that's a big part of the Republican base."
Binder also pointed out that according to the UNF poll, Rubio "has done a better job of rallying his base than Patrick Murphy."
While Rubio gets the support of 81 percent support among Republicans, Murphy gathers 69 percent support among Democrats. Murphy wins independents by a narrow 45-41 percent.
While Rubio has more support from men than Murphy, 52 percent to 38 percent, the Republican is almost tied 44-43 percent among women.
In numerous polls, Florida voters appear ready to split their ticket by choosing Clinton for president and Rubio for Senate. The UNF poll shows that Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton by 3 points at the same time Rubio leads Murphy 47-41 percent.
This UNF poll, which was conducted from Sep. 27 to Oct. 4, is the 22nd in a row to show Rubio with a lead. The poll of 696 likely Florida voters has an error margin of 3.8 points.
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