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

@PatriciaMazzei

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.

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