Poll: Even Florida Voters Are Giving Up on Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush remains intensely popular in his home base. The Miami media market, in fact, may be one of the few places left in the country where the former governor remains the most popular choice for the Republican presidential nomination, but Bush's popularity in the rest of the state continues to plummet.
In the first statewide poll taken since Wednesday's debate, Bush is now stuck in fifth place in the state that elected him to govern twice. In fact, the data even suggests that Bush is no longer many Florida Republicans' second choice for the nomination.
Here are the results from the Viewpoint Florida poll:
Donald Trump - 26.81%
Marco Rubio - 16.28%
Ben Carson - 15.07%
Ted Cruz - 12.41%
Jeb Bush - 12.07%
Carly Fiorina - 4.40%
Other - 4.67%
Unsure - 8.29%
Bush's base of support is crumbling. Though he still leads in Florida among a few demographics. In the Miami media market (which includes Broward and the Keys), he comes out on top with 28.63 percent to Rubio's 23.89 percent (Trump is third in the market with 18.56 percent). Bush also leads among Hispanics with 36.46 percent to Rubio's 27.61 percent. He was also far and away the top choice of those responding to the poll in Spanish with 48.09 of the vote.
Bush is also a solid second place among young Republicans aged 18 to 34, with 28.70 percent to Trump's 29.11 percent.
Bush struggles mightily elsewhere. He's under 10 percent in major markets like Tampa and Orlando and is particularly unpopular among Florida Republicans between 35 and 49.
And he might not have much room to rebuild a base of support.
The poll also asked how the results would shake out if Rubio dropped out of the race. Bush doesn't get much of a bump, and would remain in fourth place behind Trump, Carson, and Cruz. In fact, Trump would extend his lead to 28.11 percent in that scenario. Only about 23 percent of Rubio voters would fall back to Bush, with 24 percent throwing their support to Rubio's fellow Tea Party Cuban-(Canadian?)-American Senator Ted Cruz.
Though, if Bush dropped out, Rubio's support would skyrocket in Florida to nearly 24 percent, just a few points shy of Trump. About 43 percent of Bush voters would switch allegiance to Rubio.
The implication being that Bush's continued candidacy is an impediment to Rubio's rise, whereas Bush doesn't get much of a bump if the other Florida candidate dropped out.
In fact, it appears Cruz may also be siphoning off Bush's support in the state.
"Here, it would appear that Ted Cruz is a confounding factor for Bush, collecting 27% support with Hispanic respondents to Bush’s 52% in the ballot test without Rubio," writes Viewpoint Florida. "By contrast, Rubio wins 63% of Hispanic respondents in his ballot test without Bush, while Cruz earns just 10%."
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