Hillary Clinton Besting GOP Hopefuls, Jeb Bush Leads GOP Field in 2016 Florida Poll
Around the State
If he runs for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, former Gov. Jeb Bush is well-poised to be the favorite son of the Sunshine State, something that can’t be said of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., but former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the candidate to beat in Florida according to a new poll.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday morning finds Bush out front in Florida over the rest of the 2016 Republican pack. Bush takes 27 percent with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., with 14 percent and Rubio in third with 11 percent. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., stands in fourth with 7 percent followed by three candidates -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. -- knotted together with 6 percent each. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin takes 4 percent while Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana lags with 1 percent.
The poll, which samples more Democrats than Republicans, has Clinton easily besting the various Republican hopefuls. Bush does best against Clinton but still loses by 8 percent while Rubio trails by 12 percent. Clinton runs over the other Republicans, beating Paul, Huckabee and Christie of New Jersey by 18 percent apiece, routing Ryan by 20 percent, and walloping U.S. Ted Cruz by 26 percent.
"With former Gov. Jeb Bush making noises about a possible 2016 candidacy, his support among Republicans in the Sunshine State appears to be solidifying,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, on Thursday. “He still trails Hillary Clinton in a general election match-up, but he is the only potential GOP nominee who gets within single digits of her.
"For a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy in Florida, November 2016 can't get here soon enough,” Brown continued. “Not only does she out-point the entire field of potential Democratic wannabes for the party nomination put together, but her favorability numbers among all voters are near 60 percent. The Republicans angling to oppose Secretary Clinton, should she run, are less known and less liked.”
Clinton and Bush are both seen as favorable among a majority of Floridians, with 58 percent seeing the Democrat in a favorable light while 35 percent view the former governor as favorable. While 37 percent see Clinton as unfavorable, 35 percent view Bush as unfavorable.
The other candidates are not seen as favorable. Rubio is seen as favorable by 43 percent and unfavorable by 36 percent. Huckabee is seen by 36 percent as favorable and unfavorable by 32 percent. Paul gets similar marks, with 34 percent favorable and 31 percent unfavorable. Christie also gets mixed marks at 37 percent favorable and 35 percent unfavorable.
Two of the Republicans are upside down in the poll. Ryan is seen as unfavorable by 36 percent and favorable by 33 percent. Cruz gets far lower marks with 30 percent seeing him as favorable and only 19 percent viewing him in a favorable light.
The poll of 1,413 registered Florida voters was taken from April 23-28 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent. The sample of 491 Republicans and 501 Democrats was taken in the same period and had a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.