August 25, 2015

Rubio gets highest job approval rating yet in new Florida poll


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio may be stuck in the middle of the pack in the race for the White House, but back home he is getting his best ratings ever from Floridians for the job he is doing in the U.S. Senate.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 57 percent of 1,093 voters said they approve of the job Rubio is doing as senator. It is the highest rating Rubio has ever had from the polling organization, which regularly polls Florida.

In April of this year, 54 percent approved of how Rubio was doing his job – tying a previous record high he last enjoyed in 2012.

Rubio’s current 57 percent approval rating is about 8 percentage points higher than he had in a Quinnipiac Poll and 10 percentage points up from their February poll.

And it is light years ahead of where he was at the start of his tenure in the Senate. In February 2011, just 42 percent approved of Rubio’s performance, though he had only been in office for a month at that point.

Rubio’s approval rating is well ahead of both Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat. Both had an approval rating of 45 percent in the latest Quinnipiac Poll.

Voters clueless about Fla. Senate field; Scott's numbers improve

A new statewide poll in Florida by Quinnipiac University largely comes up empty by finding that every major candidate for U.S. Senate in both parties is so unknown that "none has achieved enough voter recognition for a valid measure of their favorability."

And in a small sign of progress for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, his job approval edged upward, with a divided electorate approving of his performance by 45 to 44 percent. That's hardly a ringing endorsement, but it marks the first time since February 2011, one month after Scott took office, that he scored a positive approval rating with voters. The previous Q-poll in late June had Scott underwater, with 39 percent approving of his job performance and 49 percent disapproving.

Quinnipiac polled 1,093 Florida voters from Aug. 7 to 18. The overall poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

As expected, the race for U.S. Senate is completely wide open and very few voters recognize the names of the people jockeying to replace Republican Marco Rubio.

In the Republican Senate field, 92 percent of voters have not heard of entrepreneur and combat veteran Todd Wilcox of Orlando; 87 percent didn't recognize the name of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach; and 86 percent didn't know enough about either U.S. Rep. David Jolly of St. Petersburg or Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera to rate him.

Former state Attorney General and U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum's name was a mystery to 71 percent of voters, a stunning statistic considering McCollum has run four times for statewide office in the past 15 years, including previous two Senate bids in 2000 and 2004.

Among Democrats, the most familiar name was U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, but his numbers suggest trouble at 10 percent favorable, 22 percent unfavorable and 67 percent not knowing who he is. The "don't recognize" numbers was 86 percent for one-term U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee and 81 percent for two-term U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter.

August 24, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Most Florida voters oppose Iran deal


A new poll shows President Barack Obama remains unpopular in Florida -- as does his nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama's job approval rating is upside down 41-56 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. Respondents oppose the Iran agreement by 61-25 percent but support sending U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

The president's proposed federal rules to reduce pollution from coal-burning plants -- not a big issue in Florida -- won support of 69-25 percent in the poll. The survey's error margin was 3 percentage points.

Quinnipiac also polled in two other swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and found that in all three places, voters oppose efforts by Republicans in Congress to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

They also support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally (for Florida, that support was at 53 percent, with 12 percent supporting no path to citizenship and 31 percent saying the immigrants should be forced to leave).

August 20, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Donald Trump up, Hillary Clinton down in Florida


Donald Trump has climbed to the top of the 2016 Republican presidential field in Florida, according to a new poll that shows him ahead of hometown favorites Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Perhaps even more noteworthy: Democrat Hillary Clinton's popularity has taken a tumble, the poll shows, and she now trails Bush and Rubio and is essentially tied with Trump in potential general-election match-ups.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Trump leading the GOP field in Florida with 21 percent, followed by Bush (17 percent) and Rubio and Ben Carson (both at 11 percent). Carson is a neurosurgeon who retired to West Palm Beach. No other candidate tops 7 percent support, and 8 percent are undecided.

Trump received merely 3 percent support in the last Quinnipiac survey of Florida in June, a sign of his summer surge.

At the time, Clinton led the Democratic field with 64 percent support. Now she's at 48 percent, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, Vice President Joe Biden (who for now is not a candidate) at 11 percent and 17 percent undecided.

In head-to-head match-ups, Rubio leads Clinton 51-39 percent, Bush leads her 49-38 percent, and Trump leads her 43-41 percent, a statistical tie. The poll has an error margin of 3 percentage points.

If Trump were to run as a third-party candidate, then the poll shows Clinton at 37 percent, Bush at 36 percent and Trump at 19 percent in Florida.

"Hillary Clinton's poll numbers are like a leaky faucet: drip, drip, drip, drip. She is now getting less than half the vote in all three states' Democratic primaries,", said Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, who also surveyed voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. "Gov. 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."

Rubio continues to show high favorability ratings, the measure his campaign considers most important this early in the presidential race because it shows he has potential to grow as the campaign chugs along and more voters start paying attention.

August 12, 2015

Poll: Jeb Bush in second place in New Hampshire

via @learyreports

Donald Trump is fading in New Hampshire, with Jeb Bush holding second against a rising John Kasich and Carly Fiorina, according to a Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll.

Trump has 18 percent of the support of likely GOP primary voters but that's nearly half the support he once had. Bush has 13 percent and Kasich at 12 percent, reflecting his strong debate performance.

Ted Cruz is fourth at 10 percent, and Fiorina has climbed to 9 percent, according to the poll conducted Aug. 7-10. Rand Paulhas 6 percent and -- surprisingly -- Scott Walker has fallen to 4 percent, tied with Marco Rubio.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has eclipsed Hillary Clinton in the Granite State.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 03, 2015

McClatchy poll: Republican voters like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio. A lot don't like Donald Trump.

via @LightmanDavid

WASHINGTON -- Republicans like Jeb Bush. And a lot really don’t like Donald Trump.

In fact, more than half find Trump a distraction from the primary process, not a serious candidate.

With the first Republican presidential debate coming up Thursday, a new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents personally like Bush, saying they view him favorably rather than unfavorably. Large numbers also like Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee, far more than dislike them.

But nearly half dislike Trump, suggesting that the billionaire businessman who leads national Republican polls will have a hard time reaching those personally hostile voters and growing his constituency, while a host of others have room to surge.

The debate in Cleveland, the first of a monthly series, will feature the 10 Republicans, plus ties, atop an average of national polls. As many as seven other candidates will not qualify and instead can participate in a late afternoon forum.

More here.

July 31, 2015

McClatchy poll: As 3rd-party candidate, Donald Trump could send Hillary Clinton to the White House

via @LightmanDavid @corinneskennedy

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump could do to the 2016 general election exactly what Ross Perot did a generation ago – with a Clinton pulling away from a Bush and a wealthy business mogul drawing a surprisingly large share of the vote.

A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds Hillary Clinton leading every potential Republican rival one on one. And while her lead has narrowed over several, it expands greatly in a race against Jeb Bush if Trump decides to jump in as a third-party candidate, as he has suggested is possible.

The poll projects a virtual rerun of 1992. That year, husband Bill Clinton won the White House with 43 percent of the popular vote. President George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush’s father, came in second with 37.5 percent. Perot, running as an independent, got 19 percent.

This time, Hillary Clinton gets 44 percent, Bush gets 29 percent and Trump gets 20 percent, according to the poll.

The results come as the Republicans prepare for their first debate, Thursday in Cleveland, with Trump leading national polls of GOP voters. Should he fall short of winning the Republican nomination, which party insiders expect, Trump has opened the door to a third-party bid.

Trump would badly wound Bush, according to the nationwide McClatchy-Marist survey conducted July 22-28.

He would siphon votes from Republicans and independents, but not from Democrats. He’d get 28 percent of the Republican vote, while Bush would sink to 63 percent support from his own party. Meanwhile, Clinton would hold 86 percent of the Democrats.

More here.

July 30, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Donald Trump surges in GOP, but would lose to Democrats


The summer of The Donald is reflected in a new public-opinion survey that shows celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump clearly ahead of the rest of the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls.

The Quinnipiac University poll published Thursday shows Trump with 20 percent support, ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 10 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in a four-way tie for fourth place with 6 percent, and 12 percent are undecided.

Trump, however, is underwater in potential matchups against Democratic candidates. He would lose to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 48-36 percent -- and would also be bested by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and even Vice President Joe Biden, who is not in the race. Clinton leads the Democratic field with 55 percent support, followed by Sanders (17 percent) and Biden (14 percent).

The strongest Republican against Clinton is Bush, who's ahead of her 41-42 percent, which amounts to a statistical tie. The poll's error margin is 2.4 percentage points. Clinton leads Walker 44-43 percent, another tie.

Though poll respondents said the most important quality in a candidate is that they be honest and trustworthy, frontrunners Trump and Clinton fare the worst by that measure, at least among general-election voters.

"They love him and they hate him. Donald Trump triumphs on the stump so far, but do voters REALLY want him? Maybe not so much," assistant poll director Tim Malloy said in a statement.

July 27, 2015

Mason-Dixon poll shows no clear favoring in U.S. Senate race


There is no clear front runner in either the Republican or Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate in 2016, a new Mason-Dixon Florida Poll shows.

According to the poll of 500 registered Republican voters, U.S. Rep. David Jolly was the choice of 16 percent. Florida’s Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera was second with 10 percent of the vote. U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and Jeff Miller were the choice of 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Todd Wilcox was sitting at 2 percent.

Maybe more telling is how many voters are undecided about the field. The poll showed 55 percent said they were undecided about who they would pick.

If former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has said he is considering the contest, gets in the race, he could scramble the field. McCollum would immediately jump to the top of the list. When asked if McCollum were running, 22 percent said they would support him. Jolly would drop to 11 percent. DeSantis would be third with 8 percent, followed  by Lopez-Cantera and Jeff Miller at 7 percent and 6 percent. Still 45 percent of Republican voters said they were undecided even with McCollum in the contest.

The Democratic field is even closer. U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson was the choice of 33 percent of registered Democratic voters. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy was the choice of 32 percent. But like the Republicans, a lot of voters remain very undecided. The poll showed 35 percent were undecided.

The race doesn’t change much if U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham gets in the race. If she gets into the contest, Murphy would lead the field with 26 percent. Grayson would get 24 percent and Graham 11 percent. But the undecideds grow to 39 percent.

The telephone poll was conducted from July 20 to July 25 and the margin of error is 4.5 percent. 

July 24, 2015

Mason-Dixon poll: Florida support for Marco Rubio drops


Jeb Bush holds a 28-16 percent lead in Florida over fellow home state Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, according to a new poll.

Rubio's popularity has fallen sharply since he kicked off his campaign, the survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows. In April, Rubio was effectively tied with Bush 31-30 percent.

"I've been up higher than I am today," Rubio said in a Friday interview on CBS This Morning, without referring specifically to the new Mason-Dixon poll. "I've been lower than I am now."

He told Fox News the night before that "it's hard to be president of the United States if you can't win the primary of your own state."

Accounting for the difference is the rise in the poll of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who only recently made his candidacy official, and the addition to the race of real-estate mogul Donald Trump. They polled at 13 and 11 percent, respectively. No others in the GOP race received double-digit support.

"This is the first Florida poll taken entirely since Trump's remarks regarding John McCain's Vietnam War service," pollster Brad Coker wrote in an analysis of the results, which were first reported by Politico. "His 11% showing in Florida is far below his support in recent national polls. This could be the result of the home state advantage of both Bush and Rubio.

"However, the fact that Walker has slipped ahead of him may be a stronger sign that his candidacy is fading. Furthermore, there is a clear ceiling that Trump has among Florida Republicans."

Among Florida Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to lead the field with 58 percent, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 17 percent and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley with 2 percent. Other candidates didn't register in the poll.

Twenty-three percent of Democrats said they were undecided, compared to 13 percent of Republicans. The poll's error margin is 4.5 percentage points.