PPP's first look at the Florida Senate race this cycle finds that it will start out as a toss up if Marco Rubio does indeed move on to run for President. 8 hypothetical match ups between Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson on the Democratic side, and Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Allen West on the Republican side find the Democrats leading by an average of less than a point. All 8 of the match ups find the candidates separated by somewhere in the 2-7 point range.
The best known of the potential candidates we tested is Bondi. 38% of voters view her favorably to 32% with a negative opinion. She fares the strongest of the Republicans in hypothetical match ups, leading Grayson 45/42 and Murphy 45/41. Also leading both of the Democrats, although by a narrow margin, is Atwater. He's up 41/40 on Grayson and 41/39 on Murphy. Despite having now served in statewide office for 5 years, only 41% of voters are familiar enough with Atwater to have an opinion about him.
Bondi and Atwater might fare the best against the Democrats but the top choice of Republicans to be their candidate next year is Allen West. 38% of primary voters say he would be their top choice to 25% for Bondi, 12% for Atwater, and 8% for Lopez-Cantera. West is particularly boosted by his 45% standing with 'very conservative' voters. Although Atwater and Lopez-Cantera have been talked about more as potential candidates, it's pretty clear they wouldn't be at the top of the list for Republican voters in the state at this point.