May 04, 2015

WSJ/NBC poll: Jeb Bush leads 2016 GOP field, but Marco Rubio is catching up, has broader support


Hey, Miami: Are you ready to have two hometown Republicans leading the pack of 2016 presidential contenders?

It might already be happening, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush remains the leading GOP candidate in the poll, with 23 percent of respondents listing him as his first choice, compared to 18 percent for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. But a wider swath of voters -- 74 percent compared to Bush's 70 percent -- say they could see themselves voting for Rubio, the poll found. Its error margin is 6.19 percent.

Rubio got a big boost from his April campaign launch (Bush has yet to make his official), and the large Republican field is still very much in flux. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they could see themselves voting for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is also not a formal candidate, and the poll included seven other GOP hopefuls. All Republicans trail Democrat Hillary Clinton, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky faring best against her.

For all those reasons, Rubio's camp has been quick to dismiss his strong showings in other polls. But the survey is still good news for him as he fund-raises across the country to keep up with Bush, who has a head start and established political-donor network.

April 23, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Marco Rubio bumps ahead of Jeb Bush, competitive with Hillary Clinton

via @learyreports

Marco Rubio leads the GOP field in a new national poll and runs best against Hillary Clinton, a big shot for his campaign that's just over a week into effect.

Rubio takes 15 percent of the GOP primary vote, according to the Quinnipiac poll, with Jeb Bush earning 13 percent and Scott Walker 11 percent. No other candidate tops 9 percent and 14 percent remain undecided.

Clinton naturally blows away any Democratic competition and other Republicans, except 43-year-old Rubio. In a general election matchup, Clinton gets 45 percent of American voters to 43 percent for Rubio. That's better than other Republicans, including Bush whom Clinton leads 46-39.

“The youngest member of the GOP presidential posse moves to the front of the pack to challenge Hillary Clinton whose position in her own party appears rock solid,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “This is the kind of survey that shoots adrenalin into a campaign. Marco Rubio gets strong enough numbers and favorability ratings to look like a legit threat to Hillary Clinton.”

Bush tops the “no way” list as 17 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support him.Chris Christie is next with 16 percent, with 10 percent for Rand Paul.

From April 16 – 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,353 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 567 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points and 569 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

After the news got out, Rubio's campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, remarked on Twitter that polls this early "don't matter." That's true but it's also likely Rubio's campaign knows what comes with the additional attention: more media scrutiny and more overt shots from Republicans.

At the least, the poll would seemingly validate feeling among Rubio's camp that he had a strong rollout and that Clinton's campaign announcement a day before Rubio's did not eat into his national news attention.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

April 06, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Jeff Atwater leads early Florida Senate field, though few voters know potential candidates


Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater tops the early field of possible 2016 U.S. Senate candidates in Florida, according to a new poll, though the four potential contenders in the survey are still largely unknown to voters. A tough race is expected if Republican Sen. Marco Rubio announces next week that he's running for president.

The Republican Atwater bests Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, the only declared candidate in the race so far, by 38-34 percent, the new Quinnipiac University poll found. Atwater also leads Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando 42-32 percent.

Murphy holds a 35-31 percent lead over Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Lopez-Cantera's advantage over Grayson, 33-32 percent, is essentially a tie, given the poll's 3 percent error margin.

A key figure: all of them have a high proportion of voters -- 58 percent or more -- who said they don't know enough about the politicians to form an opinion. Quinnipiac did not survey primary-election match-ups.

"If U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio runs for president, the fight for his Senate seat will be a test of relatively unknown candidates on both sides of the aisle," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement. "Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has a small edge in exposure to the voters, but we have a long way to go. Whoever wins will be the candidate who does the best job introducing themselves to the voters."

The poll also found that voters continue to disapprove of Republican Gov. Rick Scott's job performance by 49-42 percent. Rubio has a higher approval rating (54-35 percent) than his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson (45-30 percent).

Quinnipiac also found 84 percent of respondents favor legalizing medical marijuana, compared to 14 percent who oppose it. A constitutional amendment to that effect failed despite garnering nearly 58 percent support because it failed to meet the state's 60-percent amendment threshold. A new amendment is in the works for the 2016 ballot, with a different wording than what the pollsters used in their survey, making an apples-to-apples comparison impossible.

According to the poll, outright marijuana legalization -- not just for medical uses -- is supported 55-42 percent.

April 02, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Jeb Bush's lead over other likely GOP candidates shrinks in Florida


Former Gov. Jeb Bush is still the favorite 2016 presidential candidate among Florida Republicans, a new poll says, but he has lost some ground since February.

Bush tops the GOP field at 24 percent, down from 32 percent on Feb. 4, the public-opinion survey by Quinnipiac University found. Rounding out the top three are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 15 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 12 percent.

Bush would benefit from Walker stays out of the race, the poll indicates, while Rubio would be the beneficiary if Bush doesn't run.

In two other swing states -- Ohio and Pennsylvania -- Bush's popularity is in the single digits. In Ohio, he's tied for third at 8 percent, compared to 10 percent in February. In Pennsylvania, Bush is tied for second place at 9 percent, down from Bush's 12 percent last month.

Bush "can't be happy with his numbers today," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement. "Bush has a lead over the field in his home state of Florida, but it's not anywhere near insurmountable."

By contrast, on the Democratic side, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is far and away the favorite in Florida. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they would vote for her in a primary, followed by Vice President Joe Biden at 11 percent and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 7 percent. Warren has said she's not running, and Biden isn't expected to challenge Clinton.

Only one candidate on either side of the political aisle -- Cruz -- has officially announced he's running, so it's early in the race for polls to mean much. The key constituency for now is deep-pocketed donors who can help a contender amass enough money to launch a serious campaign. Much of the Republican establishment in that demographic has gravitated toward Bush; results from Quinnipiac released earlier this week suggest he is the strongest general-election candidate against Clinton in Florida.

April 01, 2015

Public Policy Polling survey: Republican voters think well of Marco Rubio


Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is well-positioned to do well as a potential Republican presidential contender if another candidate stumbles because GOP voters view him so favorably, according to a new poll.

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that Rubio had the highest approval rating -- 55-22 percent -- of the nine politicians featured in its survey. In contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's rating was 39-37 percent. But Rubio is not most voters' first choice, which is why the pollsters said he could benefit if a competitor has a setback.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who became the first Republican to formally declare his candidacy last week, has seen a surge in popularity in the past month, according to the poll results. But the leading hopeful in the crowded Republican field remains Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, with 20 percent support, which is down from last month's 25 percent. Bush is in second place at 17 percent; Rubio's tied for sixth at 6 percent. The polls error margin is 4.7 percentage points.

Poll: Support growing among Cuban Americans for new U.S.-Cuba policy

via @HeraldMimi

A new national poll of Cuban Americans shows that their support for the White House's new Cuba policy has grown in the three months since the historic announcement, and now 51 percent say they support the effort to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.

Forty percent said they disagreed with the new policy and 9 percent didn’t respond or said they didn’t know, according to the poll by Bendixen & Amandi International.

Cuban Americans living outside Florida have embraced the new policy much more than those residing in the Sunshine State, according to the poll. Attitudes also diverge between older Cuban Americans born on the island and younger generations.

Forty-nine percent of Cuban Americans living in Florida said they disagreed with the effort to normalize relations while 41 percent said they agreed. However, 69 percent of Cuban Americans living outside the exile stronghold of Florida said they agreed with the new policy.

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, will be unveiled Wednesday in New York at the sold-out Cuba Opportunity Summit, a conference for senior level business executives interested in exploring business opportunities in Cuba.

Bendixen & Amandi International polled 400 Cuban Americans 18 and older March 20-25 in English or Spanish on their attitudes toward the new policy. It includes renewing diplomatic relations with Cuba, allowing more Americans to travel to the island, raising remittance levels, cooperating with Cuba on areas of mutual interest such as environmental protection, and increased commercial ties even as the U.S. trade embargo against the island remains in place.

More here.

Quinnipiac poll: President Obama's job approval dips in Florida


Florida voters continued to give President Obama negative marks in a new public-opinion poll that has also found most respondents favor some sort of deal on Iran's nuclear program.

Obama's popularity, known as his job-approval rating, is 41 percent in Florida, with 55 percent disapproving of the Democratic president, according to the survey by Quinnipiac University published Wednesday. Last time the organization asked that question, in February, Obama was doing slightly better, with 46 percent approval and 49 percent disapproval.

The latest poll, which has an error margin of 3 percentage points, also found that 61 percent of Florida respondents would like to change direction from Obama's policies, compared to 32 percent who would like to continue them.

"President Barack Obama gets lousy grades for his job performance, although they are not quite as low as they have been at times in his second term," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement. "More damning is that about five in eight voters say they want the new president to take the country in a different direction."

Despite their disapproval of Obama, Florida voters said -- by 63-26 percent -- that they would back an agreement with Iran to lift sanctions against the country in return for restrictions on its nuclear program. The Obama administration is in negotiations that have stretched past a self-imposed March 31 deadline.

Last month, 47 Republican U.S. senators sent Iranian leaders a letter warning that a deal with Obama might not be backed by the GOP-controlled Congress. Wednesday's poll found a majority of Florida voters found the letter to be unhelpful, by 55-38 percent (that's a wider negative margin than Obama's approval rating). The split was largely partisan, with Democrats and independents in opposition and Republicans in support.

Still, half of Florida voters opined the letter won't have an impact on the White House's efforts, and they support, by 65-23 percent, legislation making any Iran deal subject to congressional approval.

March 31, 2015

Quinnipiac poll: Hillary Clinton less popular than she used to be in Florida


Hillary Clinton remains a formidable presidential candidate in Florida, but the Democrat's popularity has dropped in the nation's largest swing state after a controversy over her email use as U.S. secretary of state, a new poll found.

The public-opinion survey, by Quinnipiac University, found former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush edges Clinton 45-42 in a potential match-up -- essentially a tie, given the poll's error margin of 3 percentage points. Clinton tops Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 46-44, also a tie. Both Bush and Rubio are Republicans.

A single poll's results matter little this early in the 2016 presidential race -- so early that Bush, Clinton and Rubio have not even declared their candidacies. But each politician's popularity trend is noteworthy, and that's where Clinton is struggling a bit. The last Quinnipiac poll, released Feb. 3, showed Clinton topping Bush 44-43 and Rubio 49-39.

Since then, more Florida voters have learned about Clinton's exclusive use of private email as secretary of state. She deleted the emails from her personal server after turning over to the State Department the ones she and her staff deemed pertinent.

When asked if Clinton is honest and trustworthy, 50 percent of poll respondents said no, compared to 41 percent who said yes. Fifty-one percent called Clinton's email troubles very or somewhat important to their presidential choice, with 38 percent saying it would affect their vote and 56 percent saying it would not.

"The good news for Hillary Clinton is that the e-mail controversy has not done huge violence to her presidential chances. But the matter is taking a toll on the former secretary of state's public image," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 49 percent of respondents and negatively by 46 percent. That rating has fallen from 53-39 percent in February. Bush's is 47-42 percent, compared to 46-38 percent last month. 

Quinnipiac also surveyed two other crucial swing states. Clinton tops Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 46-41 percent in Ohio, and Paul edges Clinton 45-44 percent in Pennsylvania. Paul has not yet announced his candidacy, either.

This post has been updated.

February 03, 2015

Swing-state Q poll: Jeb Bush matches best against Hillary Clinton, who leads overall


Hillary Clinton is still tough to beat in three of the most-important states in the nation: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University. Note: this is a way-early poll, it basically rewards name ID. So Jeb Bush is doing best in the GOP field. Also, if you 'unskew' the Q poll (blending the average turnout by party ID from the last two presidential elections) Bush goes from trailing Clinton by 1 point to leading her by about 3, 46-43% in Florida, which Republicans must win to carry the White House).

Here's an excerpt from its press release:

Overall, Gov. Bush runs best of any Republican listed against Clinton, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.
Clinton’s favorability rating tops 50 percent in each state, while Republican ratings range from negative to mixed to slightly positive, except for Bush in Florida and Kasich in Ohio.

Of three “Native Son” candidates, measured against Clinton only in their home states, only Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives the Democrat a good run, getting 43 percent to her 44 percent.
• Florida: Clinton at 44 percent to Bush’s 43 percent;
• Ohio: Clinton over Bush 47 – 36 percent;
• Pennsylvania: Clinton tops New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie 50 – 39 percent


While Clinton is locked in a veritable tie with Bush, she tops other Republican contenders by comfortable margins:
• 51 – 33 percent over Christie;
• 50 – 38 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
• 51 – 34 percent over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;
• 49 – 39 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Native Son.

In the Clinton-Bush matchup, women back the Democrat 50 – 41 percent, while men go Republican 45 – 37 percent.

Against other Republicans, Clinton’s margins among women range from 18 percentage points to 25 points.

She gets a 53 – 39 percent favorability rating from Florida voters, compared to Bush’s 46 – 38 percent favorability. Scores for other Republicans are:

• Negative 28 – 41 percent for Christie;
• 30 – 25 percent for Paul;
• 31 – 31 percent for Huckabee;
• 36 – 36 percent for Rubio.

“Not surprisingly, Mrs. Clinton’s worst state among the three is Florida. In the trial heat against the Sunshine State’s former governor, Jeb Bush, she and he are statistically tied. Another Native Son., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, trails 49 – 39 percent,” Brown said.

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December 23, 2014

Pro-embargo, Cuba hardline is a minority stance in U.S., polls show


The polling is in: Cuban exile hardliners and Republicans are in the clear minority nationwide when it comes to the embargo and reestablishing ties with the island nation.

A raft of new surveys, taken after President Barack Obama announced plans Wednesday to normalize relations with Cuba, shows far more Americans want the sanctions lifted and relations improved compared to those who favor current U.S. policy — namely Republicans and many Cuban-Americans.

But there’s one aspect of U.S. Cuba policy that Cuban-Americans, rank-and-file Republicans nationwide and Americans in general agree on: Easing travel restrictions to the island.

The surveys are unwelcome — but not unexpected news — to embargo supporters, mostly centered in South Florida where two potential presidential candidates, former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, have been outspoken about strengthening the embargo.

“We’ve found that the more information people learn about what happens in Cuba, the more they are to support U.S. policy,” said Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, the nation’s premier political action committee that supports the exile community.

“That’s always been the challenge: Informing people,” Claver-Carone said. “We’re a small community, yes, but we have a big megaphone.”

And in America at large, Republicans’ and the Cuban-American community’s attitudes about Cuba policy are decidedly in the minority, according to a comparison of national polls from CNN/ORC International, Langer Research/ABC-Washington Post, Reuters/Ipsos, CBS and a Bendixen & Amandi International survey conducted last week for The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.....

Normalizing relations:

ABC/Langer: Americans back it 64-31 percent; while the GOP is split 49-47 percent. “Very conservative” respondents’ support was lacking, 36-61 percent.

CNN/ORC: Americans support, 63-33 percent; while GOP support is split, 45-51 percent.

Reuters/Ipsos: Americans back it 45-22 percent, while GOP support is 31-38 percent. Reuters is the only online survey.

Herald/Bendixen: Cuban-Americans oppose normalization, 48-44 percent, an inside-the-error margin tie in the poll of 400 Cuban-Americans. It showed Republican Cuban-Americans oppose it 79-11 percent.

CBS: Americans back it 54-28 percent. CBS did not provide political party data. All the national polls surveyed about 1,000 people and have an error margin of 3.5 percentage points. The Republican polling numbers have a larger error margin.


ABC/Langer: Americans want it ended, 68-29 percent; while Republicans want it ended 57-40 percent. But “very conservative” support is lowest at 42-57 percent.

CNN/ORC: Americans want it ended, 55-40 percent; while Republicans want it ended 44-52 percent.

Reuters/Ipsos: Americans want it ended, 40-26 percent; while Republicans want it ended 28-41 percent.

Herald/Bendixen: Cuban-Americans want it discontinued, 44-40 percent; while Cuban-American Republicans wanted it to remain in place, 70-18 percent.

Travel restrictions

ABC/Langer: Americans want them ended, 74-24 percent, with Republicans at 64-33 percent and the “very conservative” at 51-47 percent.

CNN/ORC: Americans want them changed, 67-32 percent, with Republicans at 58-40 percent.

Herald/Bendixen: Cuban-Americans want them eased, 47-39 percent, with Republican Cuban-Americans oppose easing, 56-26 percent.

More here