Donald Trump Still Leads in Florida, but Ted Cruz Soars in Latest Poll

Florida Republican primary voters continue to be fake as hell. They're letting the men they elected at one point to serve as our senator and governor trail in the polls of their home state. In the first poll of Florida Republicans taking since this week's debate, it turns out that our state's GOP voters still have a thing for ol' Helmet Hair but now have a growing fondness for Texas-brand Rubio, Ted Cruz. 

The survey, conducted by Opinion Savvy and sponsored by the Jacksonville Times-Union and Fox 13 Tampa Bay, called up 555 registered Republicans in Florida on Wednesday. 

Here's the breakdown: 

  • Donald Trump: 29.7 percent
  • Ted Cruz: 20.4 percent
  • Marco Rubio: 15 percent
  • Jeb Bush: 12.5 percent
  • Ben Carson: 7.7 percent
  • Chris Christie: 6.1 percent
  • Carly Fiorina: 2.7 percent
  • Rand Paul: 2.6 percent
  • John Kasich: 0.9 percent
  • Rick Santorum: 0.1 percent
  • George Pataki: 0.1 percent 

(Literally just one person each said they'd vote for Santorum or Pataki.)

Just 2.2 percent said they remained undecided. 

Trump continues to do well with his whackadoo rhetoric in Florida. The poll found 48.3 percent of Florida Republicans saying they "strongly approve" of his call to temporarily ban all Muslims who are not residents from entering the United States. Another 24.2 percent say they "somewhat approve." Just 23.3 percent say they strongly or somewhat disapprove. 

Cruz has surged in Florida in the past month. In the last Opinion Savvy Poll, taken on November 11, he was sitting at just 12 percent. His surge appears to be at the expense of Ben Carson (who is down from 22 percent in November). There's also waning enthusiasm in the state for our own Senator Marco Rubio. He was at 18 percent in the November poll. 

Jeb Bush is actually doing a bit better since November. Back then he was at 11 percent. 

Cruz is also now leading Hispanic Republicans in the state at 22.1 percent. Though Rubio isn't far away at 21.0 percent. Donald Trump, despite his anti-Mexican rhetoric, polls at 20.8 percent among Hispanics. Bush, who used to have a lock on the state's Hispanic Republican population, is now at 15. 9 percent. 

Interestingly, Rubio has the biggest gender gap when it comes to his supporters. The poll found 19.6 percent of female Republicans in Florida support Rubio. Just 10.2 percent of men do. 

In an odd question, the poll also asked Florida's Democrats who they'd like to see as the GOP nominee. 

They found 37.3 percent saying they want Trump — perhaps because he seems to be the easiest to beat. Another 18.5 percent say they want Bush, perhaps because he seems the most palpable to Democrats out of the lot. 

So why is Cruz surging? Well, 25.8 percent of those who watched the debate claimed he won. That's compared to Trump at 23.8 percent. 

Meanwhile, 30.8 said Bush lost the debate. He was followed by Kasich; 13.5 percent said he lost the debate. 

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