BOCA RATON, FL, March 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz by 23 points in the latest survey of likely Republican voters in Florida, where Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 28 points among Democrats, according to a new poll by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI). The survey was conducted in Florida from March 8-11.
Trump leads the GOP field in Florida with 44 percent; followed by Cruz and Rubio tied at 21 percent; and John Kasich at 9 percent.
With Florida's winner-take-all primary taking place on Tuesday, March 15, Trump appears poised to take the state's 99 delegates. Trump's favorability rating among GOP voters in Florida dipped from 70 percent in FAU's January poll to 56 percent in this poll, compared to Rubio at 48 percent, Cruz at 44 percent and Kasich at a somewhat surprising 60 percent.
Kasich's numbers show that favorability doesn't always translate into votes, said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative.
"The favorability ratings for Trump, Rubio and Cruz are all down sharply in Florida," Wagner said.
Clinton leads Sanders 59 percent to 31 percent in Florida. While Sanders has shaved 15 points off Clinton's 43-point lead from November 2015, Clinton continues to enjoy a sizable lead in Florida thanks in part to a favorability rating of 84 percent among Democratic voters compared to 55 percent for Sanders.
Trump leads in the GOP primary among whites with 43 percent and has a two-point lead over Rubio (37 to 35 percent) in the battle for the Hispanic vote. Among Democrats, Clinton holds a 20-point lead among white voters and has support from 75 percent of both African Americans and Hispanics.
"So far, the strategy of Hillary Clinton of targeting minorities seems to be working in Florida," said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI.
The polling sample for the Democratic and the Republican primary consisted of 414 and 852 likely Florida voters, respectively, with a margin of error of +/-4.8 percent for Democratic primary and a margin of error of +/-3.3 percent for the Republican primary at a 95 percent confidence level.
For more information, visit www.business.fau.edu/bepi.
SOURCE Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative