Florida’s Republican incumbents, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, are leading in their respective races, a new AARP poll released Wednesday finds.
DeSantis leads Rep. Charlie Crist, the state's former Democratic governor, 50% to 47%; and Rubio is slightly leading Democratic Rep. Val Demmings, the former Orlando police chief, 49% to 47%, according to the poll.
Both candidates get a bump from the older voting group, with a 7-point advantage for DeSantis and 5 point for Rubio.
"Florida voters 50 and older are a critical voting demographic that all candidates are competing for in this midterm election," AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said in a press release announcing the poll's results Wednesday. "With the price of necessities like groceries, housing and health care so high, Florida residents want their leaders to provide solutions to inflation and the rising cost of living. The message is clear: If candidates want to win, they should pay attention to the issues that matter to Floridians 50-plus."
Voters in the Sunshine State said that inflation and rising prices is the main issue in both races, with 19% saying it is the most important in the race for governor, compared to 15% in the Senate race.
While inflation is the top issue for both Republicans and independents in both races, 22% of Democrats say their top issue is the accessibility for abortion in the Senate race and 24% in the race for governor, according to the poll.
Specifically on inflation, 32% of those surveyed are worried the most about food prices, followed by housing and health care, each coming in at 20%, then gasoline prices at 16% and electricity at 5%.
In the gubernatorial race, 53% of women surveyed feel the state is going in the wrong direction, while 53% of men feel it is going the right way.
In terms of the country, 76% say the nation is headed down the wrong path, and 53% say the U.S. economy is not working for them, according to the poll.
Both men and women, however, are very worried about their personal financial situations at 60% and 67% respectively.
AARP commissioned the poll conducted by Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research that surveyed 1,626 likely voters, including 550 likely voters over the age of 50, between Aug. 24-31.
The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
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