-Marco Rubio says he doesn't want to be the Republican Vice Presidential candidate next year and that might be just as well for the party- our polling indicates he wouldn't help deliver Florida. There are actually more voters in the state- 36%- who say Rubio on the ticket would make them less likely to vote for the GOP than there are- 30%- who say Rubio as the VP would enhance their chances of supporting the Republican candidate. 34% say it wouldn't make a difference to them either way.
Voters might not be interested in a Rubio VP candidacy but he continues to have pretty solid approval numbers in the state. 44% think he's doing a good job to 39% who disapprove. Rubio's approval has been steadily in the 42-44% range all year. His disapproval has ticked up with each poll we've done from 31% in March to 35% in June to now 39% on our late September poll.
-Florida mirrors what we find for most of the country when we poll on rights for same sex couples. By a 48/37 margin voters in the state think gay marriage should continue to be illegal. But when you add civil unions into the mix voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples by a 69/29 margin, with 29% saying their first choice is full marriage rights and another 40% going for civil unions.
60% of Republicans in Florida support legal recognition for gay couples, showing the extent to which public opinion is moving on this issue. And independent voters support gay marriage by a 47/34 margin, almost identical to the 48/33 spread with Democrats.
-Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot in the state 46-45, including a 42-30 advantage with independents. On the surface that might appear to be good news for the party but when PPP asked that question in June Democrats were up 45-40. That shift in Florida is representative of the movement away from Democrats nationally over the last few months.
-We ask about the favorability of the Tea Party in every swing state and we find the same thing every time- only 41% of Florida voters have a favorable opinion of that movement to 49% who view it negatively. The 'Tea Party' label has gotten to the point where it's a turn off for voters most everywhere- unless you're running in a Republican primary in a deep red state that's probably something you want to stay away from if you hope to win the general election.
-Florida's favorite major league baseball team is a tie between the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays at 17% each. The Atlanta Braves, at 14%, and New York Yankees, at 10%, both hit double digit support in the state as well. The Cubs at 7%, Red Sox at 6%, Phillies at 3%, and Mets at 2% round out the field. The fact that 42% of voters in the state pick an out of state MLB team as their favorite to only 34% for the Rays and Marlins is just another data point for the failure of the home state teams to really capture residents' hearts. Maybe that will change with the opening of the new Marlins ballpark and if the Rays ever get one.
-Florida's in state NFL teams fare a little better. 21% say the Dolphins are their favorite to 15% for the Buccaneers, 14% for the Jaguars, 8% for the Cowboys, 7% for the Patriots, 4% each for the Giants and Jets, and 3% for the Falcons.
Full results here