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Florida Republicans Give Jeb Bush the Green Light, Marco Rubio the Red Light for 2016

February 2, 2015 - 6:00pm

Florida Republicans want former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., to run for president in 2016 while they think U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., should stay in the U.S. Senate, a new poll finds.

Mason-Dixon released a poll of Florida voters on Monday which shows Bush has far more support for a presidential bid than Rubio in the Sunshine State.

While 43 percent of all voters want Bush to stay out of the 2016 race, 42 percent think he should run. But that number is skewed as 58 percent of Florida Democrats want Bush to stay home while 23 percent think he should enter the presidential race.

Bush does far better, naturally, with fellow Florida Republicans as 59 percent of them want the former governor to run though 31 percent say he should stay out of the fray. Half of independents -- 50 percent -- think Bush should run for president while 36 percent think he should not run.

Rubio garners far less support for a presidential bid. More than half of all Florida voters -- 57 percent -- think Rubio should run for a second term in the Senate while only 15 percent think he should aim for the White House.

The poll finds Floridians of all political stripes would rather see Rubio stay in the Senate instead of running for president. A vast majority of Republicans -- 68 percent -- would prefer Rubio stay in the Senate while only 19 percent want to see him run for the presidency. Democrats also prefer Rubio remain where he is with almost half of them -- 47 percent -- wanting him to stay in the Senate while 15 percent think he should enter the presidential race. More than half of independents -- 56 percent -- think Rubio should seek a second Senate term while 16 percent think he should try for the presidency.

The poll of 625 Florida voters was taken from Jan. 27-Jan. 29 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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