Donald Trump Is Now Leading Among Hispanic Republicans in Florida

Donald Trump kicked off his presidential campaign with what many observers saw as anti-Hispanic remarks. Yet, according to the latest poll from Florida Atlantic University, Trump is strongly leading among the state's GOP voters. Trump is now the favorite candidate of nearly 48 percent of all likely Republican primary voters (a large difference from the Florida Times-Union poll earlier this week) and is now the top choice of 54 percent of Hispanic likely Republican voters. 

Here's the breakdown among all likely Republican voters: 

Donald Trump - 47.6 percent
Ted Cruz - 16.3 percent
Marco Rubio - 11.percent
Jeb Bush - 9.5 percent
Ben Carson - 3.3 percent 

And here's the breakdown of just Hispanic Republicans: 

Donald Trump - 54 percent 
Marco Rubio - 15.1 percent 
Rand Paul - 14 percent
Ted Cruz - 10.2 percent
Jeb Bush - 5.5 percent

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have seen their support among Hispanics drop significantly since November, with Rubio's support plummeting 19 points among the demographic. 

In light of Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants, the polling may seem strange, but it's not unprecedented. Florida's Republican Hispanics are more likely to be Cuban than the state's total Hispanic population, and about 58 percent of all registered Hispanic Republicans live in Miami-Dade. 

Even though Gov. Rick Scott kicked off his insurgent 2010 campaign for governor by promising to bring Arizona-style immigration laws to Florida (a measure that many people saw as anti-Hispanic), Scott ended up winning the state's Hispanic vote in the general election. That's at least according to exit polls, though his margin of victory was within the poll's margin of error. (He also never brought those immigration laws to Florida.) 

This FAU poll has a total margin of error of +/-4.9 percent, and though higher, the margin of error of its Hispanic sampling was not included in the poll. So take the exact numbers with a grain of salt. 

In any event, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton continues to hold a large lead over Bernie Sanders in Florida: 62.2 percent to 25.9 percent. 

Clinton also has better fortunes than Sanders in head-to-head matchups against Republicans in Florida. Though she would trail Bush by 7.5 points, she's statistically tied with Trump and Rubio, and beats Cruz by about 5 points. When Sanders is swapped in for Clinton, the GOP candidates' lead widens, according to the poll.

As for Florida's Senate race, well, voters still don't seem to know much about it. The poll found that 50 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats remain undecided. 

However, Rep. Alan Grayson has opened a seven-point lead against moderate establishment favorite Rep. Patrick Murphy. Meanwhile, Rep. David Jolly, who memorably denounced Donald Trump on the House floor, has a wide lead over his opponents on the Republican side. 

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