A new swing-state poll by Quinnipiac University finds that Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are the clear winners in party primaries in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Vice President Joe Biden does as well as Clinton in general election matchups against Republicans.
In general election matchups, former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio both run better than Trump against Clinton, Biden or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the poll finds.
Trump was the choice of 21 percent of Florida Republicans with Bush second at 17 percent and Marco Rubio and Ben Carson tied for third at 11 percent each, the poll finds. Every other Republican candidate is in single digits in Florida and 8 percent are undecided.
Trump and Clinton also have the worst overall favorability ratings of any leading candidate and rate lowest for being honest and trustworthy, Since 1960, no candidate has won the White House without winning at least two of the three swing states.
Clinton received support of 48 percent of Florida Democrats followed by 15 percent for Sanders and 11 percent for Biden, with 17 percent undecided. Among Republicans, Trump gets 21 percent, with 17 percent for Bush and 11 percent each for Rubio and Ben Carson. No other candidate tops 7 percent, with 8 percent undecided.
In general election matchups in Florida, Bush tops Clinton 49–38 percent and Rubio leads 51–39 percent while Trump gets 43 percent to Clinton's 41 percent.
Bush leads Biden 51–38 percent with Rubio up 48–42 percent. Biden gets 45 percent to Trump's 42 percent. Sanders trails Bush 54–35 percent and loses 52–36 percent to Rubio and 45–41 percent to Trump. If Trump were to run as an independent candidate, the results in Florida would be Clinton at 37 percent, with 36 percent for Bush and 19 percent for Trump.
"Vice President Joseph Biden, who is spending his time in seclusion, contemplating whether to take on Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries for president, has some new information to consider," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Hillary Clinton's poll numbers are like a leaky faucet: drip, drip, drip. She is now getting less than half the vote in all three states' Democratic primaries."
Brown said the poll numbers reflect the candidates' performances in the first TV debate in Cleveland. "Jeb Bush got middling debate grades and slips in the GOP horse race. Yet he does very well when voters rate the leading Republican candidates on personal characteristics. He scores best on honesty, empathy and temperament to handle an international crisis, while finishing a close second to Trump on leadership."
When Florida Republicans were asked which candidate they would definitely not support, 29 percent chose Trump, 17 percent chose Bush and Rand Paul and 16 percent chose Chris Christie. Quinnipiac interviewed 1,093 Florida voters from Aug. 7-18. The poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, with slightly higher margins within each party.