Florida Republicans Want Jeb Bush, Not Marco Rubio, for President

This year's GOP primary is shaping up as a battle royal for Sunshine State conservatives' two favorite sons. But that doesn't mean Florida Republicans are evenly divided between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

In fact, Coral Gables' favorite son trounces South Miami's brightest political star in a new poll, with Bush doubling up Rubio among Florida Republicans.

The Quinnipiac University poll -- which hit about 350 registered Republican voters in Florida -- finds Bush with 32 percent of support among Florida GOP voters, with Rubio next at 15 percent.

But the poll doesn't exactly clear up the picture of who will get the GOP nomination. Quinnipiac also quizzed voters in swing states Ohio and Pennsylvania and found a virtual tie among leading GOP candidates.

"Taken as a whole, there is no clear leader for the Republican presidential nomination in these three critical swing states. Former Gov. Jeb Bush is way ahead in Florida with almost a third of the vote, but no candidate is in comparable situation in Ohio or Pennsylvania," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, says in a release.

Still, Bush's big early lead in Florida bodes well for the ex-governor. Florida isn't a player in the primary picture, but his frontrunner status likely hints at his ability to win the early fundraising game against his younger rival.

The picture for Democrats in Florida is even more crystal clear. Assuming Hilary Clinton runs, she leads among Dem voters with 61 percent support, miles in front of Joe Biden's 11 percent.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink