October 06, 2015

PPP poll: Donald Trump still leads GOP field, Marco Rubio has 'momentum'


Donald Trump's lead in the 2016 Republican presidential race has not grown but remained steady since late August, according to a new public-opinion survey by the Democratic-leaning PPP polling firm.

Trump drew 27 percent support in the poll, compared to 29 percent in August. Ben Carson came in second place with 17 percent (similar to 15 percent in the last PPP poll). Then came Marco Rubio with 13 percent and Jeb Bush with 10 percent. Trump's lead holds "with every subgroup of the GOP electorate," the survey notes.

"Rubio is really the only candidate who can claim any sort of momentum," according to the poll. "He's gone from 5th place at 7% to 3rd place at 13% over the last five weeks. And he has a 57/24 favorability rating that puts him only behind Carson when it comes to the most broadly liked of the Republican hopefuls. No one other than Rubio has seen more than a 2 point gain since our last poll."

Of Bush, the poll notes 10 percent is up a point from the previous survey, "but he's becoming more and more unpopular with Republican voters overall.

"Just 34% have a favorable opinion of him to 49% with a negative one. His struggles continue to be fueled by strong distrust from voters who identify themselves as 'very conservative' - his favorability with them is 26/56 and only 2% support him for the nomination." 

The usual caveat applies: It's early in the presidential race, and national polls don't show how candidates are doing in states that hold the first primaries and caucuses.

September 30, 2015

Poll asks voters for words to describe Donald Trump


A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll published Wednesday asked respondents to describe some declared or potential presidential candidates in one word.

The results for Republican Donald Trump are striking.

Here are the top five words or groups of words they offered in the open-ended question:

1. Idiot/Jerk/Stupid/Dumb

2. Arrogant

3. Crazy/Nuts

4. Buffoon/Clown/Comical/Joke

5. Unfavorable/Dislike him

Trump remains the first choice among GOP likely voters, with 23 percent. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are tied for second place with 13 percent, followed by Marco Rubio (9 percent) and Jeb Bush (8 percent).

The error margin was 5 percentage points.

September 24, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio trail Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina


The rise of the political outsiders continues in the latest national poll by Quinnipiac University, which shows real-estate tycoon Donald Trump still leading the 2016 Republican presidential field, ahead of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Florina.

Here's how they polled: Trump at 25 percent, Carson at 17 percent and Florina at 12 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 9 percent. No other candidate topped 7 percent.

Among Republican poll respondents, though, 29 percent said they "would definitely not support" Trump. And in hypothetical general election match-ups, Carson did best against Democrats.

On the Democratic side, it was Vice President Joe Biden -- who's not running at this point -- who fared best against Republicans. Among primary voters, however, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the pack with 43 percent, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 25 percent and Biden with 18 percent.

"The cast of characters changes by the week, with Ben Carson and Carly Florina in the spotlight and Gov. Jeb Bush still waiting for his big break. And Donald Trump still in the lead role," Tim Malloy, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement.

"But when the number of Republicans who 'would definitely not support' you is greater than the number who support you, where does that leave you? Welcome to Trump World, comparing his fragile support form his own party to Hillary Clinton's sagging but still stronger support from her party."

Rubio remains better-liked -- though also less known -- than Bush. Thirty-eight percent of respondents have a favorable view of Rubio, 28 percent an unfavorable one and 33 percent haven't heard enough about him. By comparison, 44 percent have an unfavorable view of Bush, 38 percent a favorable one and 17 percent haven't heard enough.

September 16, 2015

PPP poll: Alan Grayson leads Patrick Murphy, but candidates remain largely unknown

via @learyreports

Alan Grayson is leading Democratic U.S. Senate rival Patrick Murphyaccording to a new poll. But the candidates remain largely unknown across Florida.

Grayson takes 33 percent of the vote from Democrats while Murphy gets 27 percent. Still, 39 percent of voters are not sure who they like.

Murphy performs better in general election match-ups and favorable/unfavorable. Thirty-three percent said they had a favorable opinion of him vs. 15 percent who said they had an unfavorable view (and 52 percent weren't sure). Grayson’s ratio is 29/26, with 44 percent not sure.

The GOP side is not much different.

David Jolly gets 18 percent, just above Ron DeSantis with 15 percent and Carlos Lopez-Cantera 14 percent. Fifty-two percent of Republican primary voters are unsure.

In a general election match-up, Murphy does better than Grayson. From a Public Policy Polling memo: "Murphy leads all the Republicans- it's 40/35 over both DeSantis and Jolly, and 41/35 over Lopez-Cantera. Grayson slightly trails both Jolly (39/36) and DeSantis (37/36), but does lead Lopez-Cantera 41/34."

PPP, which uses automated phone messages, conducted the survey Sept. 11-13 and it included 368 Democratic primary voters.

“The main story line in the Florida Sena te race right now is how unknown the candidates are,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “It’s going to take a while for this contest to really develop.”

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

September 15, 2015

PPP poll: Donald Trump, Ben Carson ahead of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio in Florida

via @adamsmithtimes

A new robo call poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling finds Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both lagging behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson in Florida, where they had been expected to dominate. Most of the Republicans tested beat Hillary Clinton in Florida, but at this point Carson is the strongest general election candidate, winning 49 percent support to 40 percent for Clinton.

A plurality of voters think Bush and Rubio should drop out. Ouch.

From PPP:

Trump continues to lead the GOP field within all the demographic groups we look at. He gets 34% with seniors, 30% with men, 29% with 'somewhat conservative' voters, 27% with 'very conservative' ones, 27% with women, 26% with moderates, and 24% with younger voters. We continue to find there's really just not that much variation in his support from one demographic group to another On the Democratic side, Florida continues to be a pretty strong state for Hillary Clinton.

She's getting 55% to 18% for Bernie Sanders, 17% for Joe Biden, 2% for Martin O'Malley, and 1% each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. Compared to our March poll in the state Clinton is down 3, Biden is up 3, and Sanders is up 15. But even though Clinton's lead is not quite as substantial as it was earlier in the year, these numbers do provide more evidence of strength for her in the south.

More here.

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times

August 31, 2015

Iowa polls show Ben Carson moving closer to Donald Trump

via @learyreports

Donald Trump continues to lead in Iowa, but Ben Carson, who now lives in West Palm Beach, is moving up and is five percentage points from the boisterous New York celebrity developer, according to a new poll.

The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll has Trump with 23 percent support and Carson with 18.

Ted Cruz - 8 percent
Scott Walker - 8 percent
Jeb Bush - 6 percent
Marco Rubio - 6 percent
Carly Fiorina - 5 percent

"Wow," said Kedron Bardwell, a political science professor at Simpson College, told the Register. "This poll will have Republican consultants shaking heads in bewilderment. Not since 1992 has anti-establishment sentiment been this strong."

ANOTHER POLL: A Monmouth University survey released this morning has Trump and Carson tied.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 27, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio tied nationally -- in 3rd place, with single digits


Florida rivals Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are tied at 7 percent in Quinnipiac University's latest national poll, putting them in third place in the Republican presidential field behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Trump remains the frontrunner, drawing 28 percent support in the poll -- up from 20 percent in Quinnipiac's last national survey July 30. The latest poll has Carson at 12 percent; Ted Cruz is tied for third with Rubio and Bush.

On the Democratic side, the poll found Joe Biden -- who is not a presidential candidate, at least not yet -- fares a bit better in hypothetical match-ups against leading Republicans than Hillary Clinton.

Polls this early in the race mean little -- especially national polls, since presidential nominees are elected state by state. Some of the other data deep in the Quinnipiac poll are more interesting than the horse race.

Rubio has a net favorability rating a 14 percent (41 percent of poll respondents think of him favorably and 27 percent unfavorably), second only to Carson. Bush's is minus 9 percent. Trump's is minus 18 percent. Among Republican voters alone, Rubio is viewed even more favorably, 72-3 percent, for a net rating of 69 percent. Bush's rating is 42 percent. 

Pollsters also asked respondents to say the first word that came to mind about Clinton, Bush and Trump. The top three Clinton words: "liar," "dishonest" and "untrustworthy." Bush: "Bush," "family," "honest." Trump's: "arrogant," "blowhard," "idiot."

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).