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Poll shows tight Florida races for governor and U.S. Senate, with older voters prioritizing economic issues

AARP Florida released a poll Wednesday conducted jointly by Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research. Chart: AARP
AARP Florida released a poll Wednesday conducted jointly by Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research. Chart: AARP

A bipartisan poll sponsored by AARP Florida shows that Gov. Ron DeSan. Marco Rubio have a slight edge over their Democratic opponents.

But their leads are within the poll's margin for error.

The survey -- conducted jointly by Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research -- shows DeSantis with 50% to 47% for Congressman Charlie Crist.

The poll focused on voters 50 and older -- and DeSantis is leading among that group by 7 percentage points.

Pollster Bob Ward says Floridians are very engaged, with strong feelings about the governor. His very favorable rating is 47%. His very Uunfavorable is 43.

"There's probably not a more polarized politician in America than Ron DeSantis right now," Ward said.

In the Senate race, Rubio is leading Congresswoman Val Demings by two percentage points.

Ward says Floridians are very engaged and relatively few are undecided. They have well-established views on Crist, DeSantis and Rubio.

Demings is well known and popular among Democrats, Ward noted. "But among independents and Republicans, you know, she's an unwritten story. So this is an opportunity for Demings to fill that up. It's also an opportunity for the Rubio campaign to define her."

The survey shows the paramount importance of economic issues -- including Social Security and Medicare -- for voters 50 and older.

Among older Democrats, abortion is the number one issue.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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