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Politics

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio Lead the 2016 Pack in Florida

March 25, 2014 - 7:00pm
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and favorite sons former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are in great shape in Florida for the 2016 presidential race, according to a poll from St. Leo University released on Wednesday.

The poll shows Clinton, the undisputed favorite for the Democratic nomination, stands head and shoulders over her potential primary rivals in the Sunshine State.

Clinton is seen as favorable by 84 percent of likely Democratic voters in Florida. Only 12 percent of them see her as unfavorable. Vice President Joe Biden is seen as favorable by 66 percent of likely Democratic voters but 27 percent see him as unfavorable. The rest of the potential Democratic candidates are largely unknown.

The poll finds 77 percent of likely Democratic voters in Florida say they could vote for Clinton in 2016. Only 28 percent say they could vote for Biden. Other Democrats garner even less support, with 16 percent saying they could vote for Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, 13 percent saying they could vote for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 12 percent saying that about U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.., and 10 percent saying they could support U.S. Sen. Kristin Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Other Democrats muster even less support in the Sunshine State, with 8 percent saying they could support Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and 7 percent saying they could vote for Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Only 5 percent say they could vote for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., while 4 percent say that about Gov. Martin OMalley of Maryland and 2 percent say that about former Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana.

On the GOP side, 90 percent of likely Republican voters see Bush as favorable while only 8 percent see him as unfavorable. Rubio has similar numbers, with 87 percent of Republicans backing him and only 9 percent seeing him as unfavorable. After his stint as former Gov. Mitt Romneys, R-Mass., running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is well-regarded in Florida Republican circles with 75 percent seeing him in a favorable light and 14 percent seeing him as unfavorable. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also does well, with 71 percent of Republicans viewing him favorably and 14 percent seeing him in an unfavorable light. A majority of Florida Republicans -- 52 percent -- view U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, favorably though almost a quarter -- 24 percent -- view him as unfavorable. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey gets mixed marks, with 45 percent seeing him favorably and 38 percent unfavorably.

Bush and Rubio lead the pack with each of them getting 59 percent of Florida Republicans saying they could vote for them in 2016 while 39 percent say that about Paul and 36 percent say they can support Ryan. Less than a third -- 30 percent -- say they can vote for Christie while 26 percent say they can back former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and 25 percent say they can vote for Cruz. Three current governors muster less support, with 24 percent insisting they can back Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, 22 percent saying they can vote for Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and 21 percent thinking they can vote for Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Only 13 percent say they can vote for former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., and 10 percent thinking they can vote for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. Other Republicans garner even less support, with only 8 percent of Florida Republicans saying they can vote for former Ambassador John Bolton, 4 percent thinking they can vote for U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and 2 percent saying they can back U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

The poll of 500 voters, was taken from March 16-19 and had a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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