By John Celock
One of the nation’s youngest U.S. Senate candidates got mixed news in a new poll, which showed him in a strong position in hypothetical general election match-ups but trailing his Democratic primary opponent.
A new poll released by Public Policy Polls on Wednesday shows U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson leading U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Democratic primary for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat 33 percent to 27 percent. Murphy, 32, is a top national Democratic Senate recruit.
The poll indicated that 44 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as “very liberal” a plus for the more progressive Grayson, who has become a hero within the national progressive movement. Murphy has been known for a more moderate background, which has been touted as a better fit to win the general election in swing state Florida. The Florida Senate race is becoming one of the most competitive of the 2016 battle for control of the Senate, with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) not seeking a second term in order to run for president.
The poll showed that in the Republican primary, the three contenders are largely unknown to the statewide electorate. U.S. Rep. David Jolly held a narrow lead with 18 percent followed by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis at 15 percent and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera at 14 percent.
While Murphy trailed Grayson, the poll showed him leading both Jolly and DeSantis by five points and Lopez-Cantera by six points. The poll indicated that Grayson trails Jolly by three points and DeSantis by one point, while leading Lopez-Cantera by seven points.
Murphy is one of the five under 40 major party U.S. Senate candidates in the 2016 election, including being one of three being touted by national Democrats as a strong contender. Joining Murphy in the under 40 Senate candidate club are Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, the presumptive Democratic nominee in his state, former U.S. Attorney Connor Eldridge (D) in Arkansas, Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld (D) in Ohio and former Justice Department official Chrys Kefalas (R) in Maryland.