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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll: Florida voters think Rubio trying to position himself for another presidential run



Marco Rubio won’t answer a “hypothetical.” His advisors insist there hasn’t been conversations. But many Florida voters, and his Senate rivals, think Rubio’s re-election campaign is about putting him in position to run for president again.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed in the new Monmouth University poll said they think Rubio’s decision to run for reelection was “more to improve his chances for a future presidential run” rather than a desire to serve the public, 25 percent.

Rubio was adamant as a presidential candidate that he would not seek re-election, only to reverse that after losing the primary. He says he wants to maintain the Senate as a check and balance on the president, whether that he Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

But if it’s Clinton, that presents a 2020 opportunity for Senate hopeful Rubio. His GOP primary opponent Carlos Beruff and leading Democrat Patrick Murphy have both charged him with unbridled ambition.

Rubio does want to run for president again, but when asked, insists that’s not why he’s running for re-election.

“I’ve basically gotten into one of the toughest races in the country, on almost the very last second possible, in an environment where I don’t control what’s happening at the top of the ticket,” Rubio told the Miami Herald editorial board. “The easier thing for me to have done — in fact, what I was thinking about, is running again in four to eight years — is just to step out of politics, stay engaged and involved and run again.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 9:09am]


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