Poll: In Florida Rubio Moves to Second, While Sanders Remains Niche

Poll: In Florida Rubio Moves to Second, While Sanders Remains Niche
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

There's still a little over a month and about 20 state primaries and caucuses to go until Floridians get to vote in their presidential preference contest, but by all indications, the race for both parties' nominations may still very much be undecided by then. A new poll out of the Florida Southern College Center for Polling and Policy Research shows some major shakeups on the Republican side, with Sen. Marco Rubio surging into second place in his home state. On the Democratic side, though, Florida remains Hillary country. 

Here's how it shakes down on the Republican side: 

Donald Trump - 27 percent 
Marco Rubio - 20 percent 
Ted Cruz - 12 percent 
Ben Carson - 6 percent 
Jeb Bush - 4 percent 

The poll surveyed 608 registered voters between January 30 and February 6, and it's worth noting the poll would have concluded before Rubio's repetitive mishap in Saturday night's debate cost him some negative headlines. The margin of error was 4 percent. 

Of course, the numbers do make sense. Rubio's strong third place showing in Iowa has elevated his campaign's status, and naturally Floridians are very familiar with the man they voted to represent them in the Senate. The results are a shakeup from previous Republican polls that had shown Ted Cruz in a solid second place behind Trump. 

While this is just a single poll of registered voters out of an institution that doesn't release that many polls, the numbers do show a big dive for Trump's popularity in the state. In the Real Clear Politics average of Florida, Trump had previously been sitting at 40 percent . 

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton continues to lead big in Florida. The Democrat numbers are 43 percent for Hillary and 26 percent for Bernie Sanders. Sanders has been sitting around 26 percent in the state for months in various polls. Hillary, however, had usually been polling at more than 60 percent in the state. Then again, polls of registered voters are more likely to find undecided voters than polls of likely voters. 

In head-to-head matchups, Rubio would best Clinton by 2 percent, Bush would beat her by 3 percent, but Clinton would smash Trump in the state by 8 percent. 


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