Now almost halfway through his second term in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is getting good marks from Florida voters, according to two polls released on Monday.
St. Leo University unveiled a poll on Monday which found half of Floridians–50 percent–approve of Rubio while 38 percent disapprove of him and 12 percent are not sure.
The University of North Florida (UNF) also released a poll on Monday which showed Rubio in slightly better shape. The UNF poll has 51 percent of Florida voters approving of Rubio while 30 percent disapprove of him and 19 percent are not sure.
Despite losing the Florida presidential primary to Donald Trump back in 2016, Rubio does well with Florida Republicans as 71 percent of them approve of him and 15 percent disapprove of him. While he is upside down with Florida Democrats, Rubio almost breaks even with them. While 43 percent of Democrats disapprove of Rubio, 36 percent of them approve of the Republican.
After serving as speaker of the Florida House, Rubio burst onto the national scene when he caught Gov. Charlie Crist and chased him out of the Republican primary. Rubio beat Crist, who was running with no party affiliation, and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. After losing to Trump in the presidential primaries, Rubio changed plans and jumped in the Senate race at the last moment, easily winning the primary and beating Democrat Patrick Murphy to keep his Senate seat in 2016.
The St. Leo poll of 500 voters in Florida was taken from Feb. 16-Feb. 25 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. The UNF poll of 870 voters in Florida was taken from Feb. 20-Feb. 27 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com