If Marco Rubio is going to win the Republican nomination, at some point he'll have to win some primaries. Though some in the media and GOP establishment (perhaps out of blind hope) have positioned him as the one to beat, he hasn't performed better than second place in any state so far. Perhaps he'll have a home-court advantage in Florida?
Nope. Not the case. Donald Trump is crushing Marco Rubio 44 to 28 in the latest Quinnipiac poll of likely Republican primary voters.
The good news for Rubio is that Bush's exit has afforded the senator a bit more popularity in the state. In two previous polls from the end of January, Rubio was
"Florida is the single biggest prize of the primary season because it is the largest state to allocate its delegates on a winner-take-all basis. If Sen. Rubio can't win in his own home state, it is difficult to see how he can win elsewhere," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
Trump is leading in just about every demographic. That includes Tea Partiers, white born-again evangelicals, and every single age group.
Rubio has a few bright spots. He's winning among those aged 31 to 37 with a college degree.
He also wins among those who say the most important trait of a candidate should be that he shares their values. Naturally, among those who say he can win in November, Rubio prevails 54-28. Rubio and Trump are tied for those who say "honesty and trustworthiness" are the most important trait. Trump, meanwhile, is killing Rubio in the "strong leader" question.
Oh, but what about those other guys?
Here are the full results from the Q-poll:
Trump: 44 percent
Rubio: 28 percent
Ted Cruz: 12 percent
John Kasich: 7 percent
Ben Carson: 4 percent
Perhaps if the other three candidates dropped out and all of their voters migrated to Rubio (and that's a big if), Rubio might have a chance of winning.
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Trump is on solid ground, though. The poll found that 73 percent of his voters say they've firmly made up their mind and won't switch. They found that 67 percent of Rubio voters say the same.
Only 21 percent of Florida Republicans say they won't vote for Trump, while 17 percent say the same of Rubio. Cruz is the most disliked candidate, with 26 percent saying they wouldn't vote for him.
Brown did point out one caveat: "Florida election law makes this contest more uncertain than earlier primaries. Only registered Republicans may vote here, which raises the question of whether the flood of new voters Donald Trump seemed to bring to earlier contests will be able to participate in Florida."
Only registered Republicans can vote in Florida's primary. The deadline to change party affiliation was last week. The Florida primary is scheduled for March 15.