March 09, 2016

CNN/ORC poll: Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio 40-24% in Florida


Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio 40-24 percent in Florida, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. They lead Ted Cruz, who drew 19 percent, and John Kasich, who drew 5 percent.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said Rubio should drop out if he loses Florida.

The poll had a relatively small sample size -- only 313 Republican respondents -- and an error margin of 5.5 percentage points. CNN's story on the poll doesn't outline its methodology, but it seems likely -- given the poll's wide margin -- that ORC relies on self-identified Republican voters, a method that tends to include independents who cannot vote in Florida's close primary.


March 07, 2016

Monmouth poll: Donald Trump still leads Marco Rubio in Florida, by single digits


A week and a day from Florida’s all-important Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump still holds a lead over Marco Rubio, according to a new poll.

Monmouth University found Trump ahead of Rubio by 38-30 percent – a single-digit gap like the one found by other recent surveys conducted with a similar method. But there’s a new sign of trouble for Rubio in the survey: He’s quickly losing support among voters who have yet to cast ballots.

Rubio amassed a 19 percent lead over Trump among respondents who had already voted, putting him ahead 48-23 percent. But Trump leads Rubio 42-26 percent among those yet to vote. About a fifth of all expected GOP voters have cast ballots already.

“Rubio is within shooting distance in his home state with a week to go in this volatile nomination contest,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “It is telling, though, that Rubio is not even the clear victor in a direct face off with Trump. There goes the argument that Rubio would triumph if only it were a two person race.”

In a hypothetical one-on-one match-up, Trump bests Rubio 47-45 percent. The poll’s error margin is 4.9 percentage points.

The two candidates’ support is also split by geography, according to the poll. Rubio leads Trump 41-30 percent in South Florida, while Trump is ahead of him 44-22 percent in Central Florida. Trump is narrowly ahead of Rubio 36-32 percent in North Florida; Rubio campaigned Saturday in Jacksonville and will hold a rally Tuesday in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Rounding out the Florida field were Ted Cruz, who drew 17 percent support, and John Kasich, with 10 percent.

Monmouth surveyed 403 likely Republican voters from March 3-6. The university relied on voter lists showing past voter history – a method generally considered more reliable for Florida’s closed primary, which doesn’t allow independents to cast ballots.

March 05, 2016

Poll for anti-Donald Trump group finds narrowing Republican presidential race in Florida


A new poll by an anti-Donald Trump group has found a narrowing Republican presidential race in Florida, suggesting the barrage of TV ads by the group and its allies might be taking effect.

Trump leads Marco Rubio 35-30 percent ahead of the March 15 primary, according to the poll conducted for Our Principles PAC by The Tarrance Group, a Republican firm, and obtained by the Miami Herald. Ted Cruz drew 16 percent support, John Kasich 9 percent and Ben Carson 5 percent. (Carson formally dropped out Friday.) Six percent of respondents were undecided.

Earlier polls by other firms have suggested a wider -- in some cases, much wider -- margin between Trump and Rubio. The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Trump ahead by 20 percentage points, Quinnipiac University by 16 points and Associated Industries of Florida by 7 points. All those polls were conducted last week, before Our Priorities and two other groups -- American Future Fund and Club for Growth -- unleashed their anti-Trump advertising.

The New York Times reported Friday that Trump himself plans to advertise in Florida. Both Trump and Rubio are rallying in the state Saturday.

Continue reading "Poll for anti-Donald Trump group finds narrowing Republican presidential race in Florida" »

March 01, 2016

PPP poll: Majority favors Florida medical marijuana ballot question

via @learyreports


Sixty-five percent of Florida voters say they'll support a medical marijuana ballot initiative this fall, enough to pass the measure. Only 28 percent are opposed.

"There's bipartisan support for the measure with Democrats (75/18), independents (70/22), and Republicans (53/40) all expressing their favor for it," according to a new PPP poll.

More from a release:

Bill Nelson is Florida's most popular politician, with a 40% approval rating to 32% of voters who disapprove of him. That puts him ahead of the perennially unpopular Rick Scott, who comes in at 38/48, and even further ahead of the newly unpopular Marco Rubio whose Presidential bid has hurt him at home and caused his approval spread to drop down to 31/55

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

February 26, 2016

PPP poll: Even in head-to-head match-up, Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio in Florida


If the Republican presidential race came down to only two candidates in Florida -- Donald Trump and Marco Rubio -- Trump would still get the better of Rubio, according to a new poll.

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that Trump bests Rubio 52-38 percent in a head-to-head match-up. Two other Florida polls this week showed Rubio trailing Trump in the existing field of five candidates. PPP found that as well: Trump leads with 45 percent, followed by Rubio (25 percent), Ted Cruz (10 percent), John Kasich (8 percent) and Ben Carson (5 percent).

"Winning has made Trump more popular," the polling firm wrote in a news release.

Rubio and his aides have insisted the Florida senator will emerge victorious at home.

"I know my state," Rubio said Friday on NBC News' Today show. "We are going to win in Florida.

On the Democratic side, PPP found Hillary Clinton clobbers Bernie Sanders, 57-32 percent.

Florida's primary is March 15.

February 25, 2016

Associated Industries of Florida poll: Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio 34-27%


A second Florida poll Thursday shows Donald Trump besting native son Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential race. But this survey, privately funded by Associated Industries of Florida, shows Rubio trailing Trump by 7 percentage points -- instead of the 16-point difference in a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier in the day.

The AIF poll finds Trump ahead 34-27 percent, with Ted Cruz drawing 17 percent of the vote, and John Kasich and Ben Carson each at 5 percent. Twelve percent of respondents were undecided.

"What is in common with the Q poll released this morning, is that while this survey has Trump with half the lead they reported, we do have Rubio at the same level of support as in their survey," Ryan Tyson wrote in an email disseminating the results to the trade group's members.

The underpinnings of both polls are similar: Trump leads among men and voters who want a "strong leader" (in the Quinnipiac poll)  or someone with a "strong national defense" platform (in the AIF poll).

The main difference seems to lie in how the polls treat voters with a lower propensity to cast primary ballots, with Quinnipiac giving them more weight than AIF. Republicans have seen unusually high turnouts in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada; the question is whether that will also happen in Florida, which closes off its primary to independent voters and does not allow same-day voter registration.

Quinnipiac lets respondents self-identify if they plan to vote in the GOP primary, whereas AIF calls respondents based on their past Florida voter history, identifying them as "likely" voters off the voter file.

Quinnipiac poll: Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio in Florida 44-28%


Trounces. Crushes. Pummels. Pick a dramatic action verb: This is what Donald Trump does to Marco Rubio in Florida, according to a new presidential poll that shows Trump is more popular than he’s ever been in Rubio’s home state.

The survey, by Quinnipiac University, shows Trump leading Rubio 44-28 percent less than three weeks before Florida’s March 15 primary. And voters — tens of thousands of them — are already casting ballots by mail, which leaves Rubio very little time to make up the deficit against the Republican front-runner.

“If Sen. Rubio can’t win in his own home state, it is difficult to see how he can win elsewhere,” said a statement from Peter A. Brown, the poll’s assistant director.

Florida’s winner-take-all primary awards all 99 delegates to the first-place candidate, making it the biggest single prize early on in the race to secure the Republican nomination.

Rubio adviser Todd Harris rebuffed the poll, saying Quinnipiac numbers are “way wrong.”

Rubio himself predicted Wednesday: “We’ll win in Florida.”

More here.

This post has been updated.

January 28, 2016

Scott: Don't count Jeb out


Gov. Rick Scott hasn't written off one of his famous predecessor's chances of becoming president.

Scott, in Washington to deliver an address on reforming hospital pricing practices at the American Enterprise Institute, put on his politics hat after the talk.

Scott, governor since 2011, said it's too soon to give up on former Gov. Jeb Bush despite his failure to gain traction in polls.

 "I still think it's early," Scott told the Miami Herald. "I mean, we haven't even done the first primary yet."

Scott said that Bush "was a very successful governor" when he headed the state from 1999 to 2007, noting in particular his education reforms.

"We're at a 12-year high in our K-12 graduation rate," Scott said.

Adding that "Jeb is working hard," Scott said, "The person that works the hardest generally wins."

Despite praising Bush's record in Florida, Scott declined to endorse him. Neither is he endorsing -- yet -- fellow Floridian Marco Rubio, the first-term U.S. senator, nor any of the other Republican presidential hopefuls.

"Like a lot of voters in Florida, I'm watching the candidates," the governor said.

Four days before the Feb.1 Iowa caucuses, Bush tallied just 4 percent in a NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of that state's Republican voters released Thursday. He was far behind businessman Donald Trump and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio of Florida, while also trailing neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Bush is faring better in New Hampshire, which will hold its primary Feb. 9, according to a poll released Thursday by Suffolk University. Bush broke out of the single digits with 11 percent, putting him in a second-place tie with Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Rubio, with all four men well behind Trump's 27 percent standing.

In addition to Bush, Scott said he has personal relationships with Rubio, along with Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie through the Republican Governors Association.

Scott criticized the Republican National Committee for having scheduled just nine presidential debates this year.

"I wish the national party hadn't limited the number of debates and limited the locations," he said.

The RNC is weighing three additional possible Republican presidential debates.

The March 10 GOP debate will be at the University of Miami, nine days after Super Tuesday, when 14 states will hold Republican primaries or caucuses. Florida will hold its primary on March 15.

Scott declined to comment directly on Trump's decision to skip Thursday night's Fox News debate because of his ongoing feud with Megyn Kelly, one of its moderators.

"Every candidate's got to think about what's the best forum for them to get their message out, whether it's debates, whether it's town halls," Scott said.


January 26, 2016

Quinnipiac poll: Marco Rubio holds on to 3rd place in Iowa


There are two Republican races going on in Iowa ahead of Monday's caucuses, according to a new poll: The race for first place between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the race for fourth place among a gaggle of unpopular candidates. In the middle? Marco Rubio.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows the Florida senator a distant third to Cruz and Trump but further ahead of the rest of the field: Trump is at 31 percent, Cruz at 29 percent and Rubio at 13 percent, with no other GOP contender about 7 percent.

Jeb Bush received 4 percent support, behind Ben Carson (7 percent) and Rand Paul (5 percent). The poll's error margin is 3.8 percentage points.

"One week before the caucuses gather, the question is which candidate has the best field organization," Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director, said in a statement. "If the events of the last two weeks haven't moved the needle, one wonders what would change in the next six days."