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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll: Florida Republicans narrowly choose Rubio over Bush



Release from the Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling firm:

There's much speculation about whether Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or both will seek the White House in 2016, but voters in their home state don't want either of them to run. Our new poll finds that just 35% of Floridians think Bush should run for President, to 50% who think he should sit it out. For Rubio the numbers are even less encouraging- only 27% of voters in the state think he should run with 59% opposed to a bid.

Both Bush and Rubio trail Hillary Clinton in their home state by small margins- Bush trails by a point at 46/45 and Rubio has a 4 point deficit at 48/44. Clinton has wider leads over the rest of the Republican field- 6 points over Rand Paul at 48/42, 7 points over Mike Huckabee at 48/41, 8 points over Chris Christie at 46/38, and 11 points over Ted Cruz at 50/39.

There are mixed messages when it comes to the Republican candidate field in Florida. Jeb Bush leads the full field with 30% to 14% for Rubio, 11% for Paul, 9% for Cruz, 8% for Christie, 7% for Huckabee and Scott Walker, 2% for Paul Ryan, and 1% for Bobby Jindal. Bush dominates among moderates and runs slightly ahead of Rubio with conservatives.

But when you ask Florida Republicans to choose just between Rubio and Bush, Rubio leads 45/41 based on his strength with voters who identify as 'very conservative.' In a field full of conservatives Bush leads because of his centrist support and because Rubio is not necessarily the first choice of conservative voters. But when you narrow the choices, conservatives are much more inclined to move to Rubio. This may presage what could happen to Bush if he runs in 2016- he may do better in earlier primaries with a packed field than he does once people start dropping out and creating a more clear ideological contrast.

There is nothing complicated about the Democratic picture- Clinton is the choice of 66% of primary voters followed by Elizabeth Warren at 8%, Joe Biden at 7%, Cory Booker at 5%, and Andrew Cuomo at 4%. Clinton polls over 60% with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and voters in every age group.

Other notes from Florida:

-53% of Floridians support ending the embargo on Cuba, with only 22% in support of continuing it. Independents (64/13) and Democrats (57/14) both strongly support ending the embargo and even Republicans (42/38) narrowly support ending it.

-Floridians support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour by a 59/33 spread. Doing so has the support of 89% of Democrats, a majority of independents (51/39), and even crossover support from 33% of Republicans.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 2:45pm]


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