Rubio Surges Among Florida Republicans, Nearly even with Bush in the Sunshine State
Jun 10, 2015, 10:53 ET
SAINT LEO, Fla., June 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Do Florida Republicans have a new favorite son? According to a new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, Senator Marco Rubio has nearly pulled even with former Governor Jeb Bush as the top choice of Florida Republicans for president of the United States.
Support for Rubio has surged since he officially declared his presidential candidacy earlier this spring, while Bush's support has plateaued.
Rubio's support rose by eight points since a March survey by Saint Leo University, while Bush's support stayed flat. Rubio also saw an eight-point increase in the number of voters naming him as their second choice. Combining the first and second place votes, Rubio has overtaken Bush, 53 percent to 42 percent.
Head to head, Rubio leads Bush among Florida Republicans, 48 to 40 percent. Another sign of Rubio's rise, the percentage of Republicans who think he will end up as the party's nominee has tripled since his official announcement, from nine percent to 27 percent.
"The surge for Senator Rubio is significant and is easily the most interesting finding in our recent politics poll," said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University. "Bush is still holding off Rubio in Florida, but the only factor keeping Rubio from the lead is the large number of conservative candidates who have siphoned his support," commented Orlando. "That is evidenced by how many respondents like Rubio as their second choice."
By a wide margin, Florida Republicans support both candidacies: 81% approve of Rubio running, and 76% approve of Bush's candidacy.
"The big surprise is that more people would prefer Rubio to Bush if they have the choice, and the margin increases when you examine only Republicans. Bush has made moderate Republicans his base in Florida, while Rubio is shoring up support among conservatives," said Saint Leo's Orlando.
The Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey results about Florida and national politics, public policy issues, Pope Francis' popularity, and other topics, can be found here: http://polls.saintleo.edu. You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.
SOURCE Saint Leo University Polling Institute
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