Florida Republicans Look Like They'll Give Donald Trump All of Their 99 Delegates

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Photo by Gage Skidmore | CC2.0

Ask anyone a year ago who they thought would win the Republican primary in Florida, and they probably would have told you either former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or current Sen. Marco Rubio. Both are home-state boys, and both looked like they were gearing up for well-funded, serious runs. Yet here we are, less than a week away from the actual primary, and it seems like Florida Republicans are poised to give it all to Donald Trump. 

The GOP establishment's concentrated anti-Trump effort hasn't had much effect in Florida, it seems. A flurry of polls released in the past few days shows Trump with a lead ranging from 9 to 23 percent. 

Marco Rubio, meanwhile, can't seem to break more than 30 points in his own state. 

Because Florida is a winner-takes-all state for Republicans, that means Trump will walk away with all of the state's 99 delegates whether he wins by 40 percent or a single vote. We've already explained why, even if Florida Republicans prefer someone else, it might behoove them, strategically, to vote for Rubio if they really don't want to see Trump win (and according to the polls, there's still a significant number of them). But hey, it's their vote, and according to some of these polls, it might not matter anyway. 

Trump's biggest leads are in polls from Fox News and Quinnipiac University. He leads Rubio by 23 in both and received 43 percent in the Fox Poll and 45 percent in the Q poll. Rubio sits at 16 and 18 percent, respectively, in those polls. 

Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

A Suffolk University polls shows a somewhat closer race, with Trump at 36 and Rubio at 27. 

Overall, however, Trump's lead in the latest polls, according to Real Clear Politics, averages out to 14.8 percent. That's 39.8 percent of the vote to Rubio's 25 percent. Ted Cruz sits at 17.6 percent, while John Kasich is at 8.3 percent. 

Still, there's significant anti-Trump sentiment in the electorate. 

According to the Fox News poll, 22 percent of Florida Republicans say that they would not vote for Trump in the general election. Though, 15 percent say the same of Rubio and 11 percent of Cruz. 

However, as we noted yesterday in a rundown of recent Democratic polls, Florida primary voters tend to cluster around the candidate they think will do best in the general election. According to a Washington Post/Univision poll, 60 percent think Trump has the best shot at victory in November. That's weird, because almost every head-to-head matchup of the Republicans against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton finds that Trump fares worst. 

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