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FAU poll: Donald Trump grows Florida lead over Ted Cruz

@PatriciaMazzei

Florida is still Donald Trump country, according to a new robopoll that finds the real-estate magnate and part-time West Palm Beach resident drawing 48 percent support from likely Republican presidential primary voters.

The Florida Atlantic University survey found Trump a whopping 32 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who drew 16 percent support. In third and fourth place respectively were Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (11 percent) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (10 percent).

The results show Trump's and Cruz's popularity continuing to grow in Florida. Here's how they've changed since the last time the university polled, in November:

Trump: 48% (+16)

Cruz: 16% (+6)

Rubio: 11% (-7)

Bush: 10% (+1)

"At this point, Donald Trump is simply crushing the opposition in the Florida Republican primary," Kevin Wagner, an FAU associate professor of political science and a research fellow of the university's Business and Economics Polling Initiative, said in a statement. "Not only has he increased his lead, Mr. Trump's favorability ratings among Republicans are now ahead of his competitors by a substantial margin."

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a wide lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 62-26 percent, but the contest has tightened 8 percentage points since November.

Clinton and Trump were the most favorably viewed candidates among respondents, and Cruz the one they viewed least favorably. Trump leads even among Hispanics, who have dropped their support for Rubio and the bilingual Bush. In potential head-to-head match-ups, Clinton trails 47-43 percent and Bush 45-42 percent, ties with Rubio at 46 percent and leads Cruz 47-42 percent.

The poll of 383 likely GOP voters and 386 likely Democratic voters was conducted January 15-18 and has an error margin of 4.9 percentage points.

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