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Hillary Clinton Running Over 2016 Primary Rivals in Florida

March 29, 2015 - 6:00pm

At this early stage in the 2016 presidential race, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over her potential Democratic primary rivals in Florida, a new poll shows.

St. Leo University released a poll toward the end of last week which shows Clinton far ahead in Florida with 57 percent of Democrats in the Sunshine State backing her in 2016. Vice President Joe Biden takes a distant second with 15 percent.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., are knotted together with 4 percent each followed by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who pulls 3 percent. Despite liberals calling on her to enter the race, Warren has said she wont run if Clinton does, while Booker has slammed the door on running.

Four candidates -- former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont.; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn; U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. -- garner 2 percent each. Webb has launched an exploratory effort while the other candidates do not appear to be running.

Former Gov. Martin OMalley, D-Md., takes 1 percent. Four other candidates -- Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.; U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; former Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass.; and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt. -- get less than 1 percent each. OMalley and Sanders are the most active of these potential candidates.

Matched against potential Republican candidates, Clinton has the edge in the Sunshine State though a Florida Republican is within the margin of error.

Clinton takes 47 percent against former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., who pulls 44 percent, within the margin of error. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., keeps Clinton to a single-digit lead but trails 42 percent to 50 percent.

Matched against Republicans from outside the Sunshine State, Clinton has a commanding lead in Florida, beating Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., by 14 percent and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., by 16 percent.

The sample of Democrats came from the St. Leo poll of 522 Floridians which was taken from March 15-21 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

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

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