A new poll shows WisconsinGov. Scott Walker is running in a dead heat with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the Sunshine State as the 2016 presidential race looms.
Gravis Marketing released its poll of Florida Republicans this week, which finds Bush ahead with 23 percent but Walker right on his heels with 22 percent. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., places third with 11 percent followed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., with 10 percent. Huckabee moved to Florida after his 2008 presidential bid.
Dr. Ben Carson, who also moved to Florida recently, placed fifth with 8 percent. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., takes 6 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Two Texas Republicans lag behind: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz takes 2 percent while former Gov. Rick Perry pulls 1 percent. An eighth of those surveyed -- 12 percent -- remain undecided.
Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Insights, said he expected the contest to come down to Bush and Walker.
We are seeing the early stages of a two-man horse race between Bush and Walker, Kaplan said. Bush vs. Walker is ... inside the margin of error.
Kaplan was not as high on Rubios chances, even though he ran close to Bush when the contest came down to just the two of them. In that scenario, Bush takes 40 percent while Rubio gets 36 percent.
Rubio is popular, but in his home state he is taking a back seat to Bush vs. Walker, Kaplan said. Even among Hispanics, Bush takes 24 percent, Walker 23 percent and Rubio, a Cuban-American, comes in third with 11 percent -- roughly his same level of support across the states Republicans in an open field.
President Barack Obama is toxic for Florida Republicans with only 16 percent of them approving of him while 79 percent disapprove of him.
The poll of 513 Florida Republicans was taken from Feb. 24-25 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
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