There's much speculation about whether Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or both will seek the White House in 2016, but voters in their home state don't want either of them to run. Our new poll finds that just 35% of Floridians think Bush should run for President, to 50% who think he should sit it out. For Rubio the numbers are even less encouraging- only 27% of voters in the state think he should run with 59% opposed to a bid.
Both Bush and Rubio trail Hillary Clinton in their home state by small margins- Bush trails by a point at 46/45 and Rubio has a 4 point deficit at 48/44. Clinton has wider leads over the rest of the Republican field- 6 points over Rand Paul at 48/42, 7 points over Mike Huckabee at 48/41, 8 points over Chris Christie at 46/38, and 11 points over Ted Cruz at 50/39.
There are mixed messages when it comes to the Republican candidate field in Florida. Jeb Bush leads the full field with 30% to 14% for Rubio, 11% for Paul, 9% for Cruz, 8% for Christie, 7% for Huckabee and Scott Walker, 2% for Paul Ryan, and 1% for Bobby Jindal. Bush dominates among moderates and runs slightly ahead of Rubio with conservatives.
But when you ask Florida Republicans to choose just between Rubio and Bush, Rubio leads 45/41 based on his strength with voters who identify as 'very conservative.' In a field full of conservatives Bush leads because of his centrist support and because Rubio is not necessarily the first choice of conservative voters. But when you narrow the choices, conservatives are much more inclined to move to Rubio. This may presage what could happen to Bush if he runs in 2016- he may do better in earlier primaries with a packed field than he does once people start dropping out and creating a more clear ideological contrast.
There is nothing complicated about the Democratic picture- Clinton is the choice of 66% of primary voters followed by Elizabeth Warren at 8%, Joe Biden at 7%, Cory Booker at 5%, and Andrew Cuomo at 4%. Clinton polls over 60% with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and voters in every age group.
Other notes from Florida:
-Floridians support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour by a 59/33 spread. Doing so has the support of 89% of Democrats, a majority of independents (51/39), and even crossover support from 33% of Republicans.
-The Heat are in the NBA finals right now but most of Florida doesn't care. 31% of voters in the state say they're rooting for the Heat, 13% say they're rooting for the Spurs, and 57% say they don't care. LeBron James has a 38/14 favorability rating- it's 28/16 with white voters and 79/6 with African Americans.
-Florida narrowly edges Florida State for college sports loyalties in the state, 22/19. Central Florida is third at 11%, followed by Miami at 10%, Florida Atlantic at 5%, South Florida at 4%, and Florida International at 2%. Florida coach Will Muschamp is in tepid standing with the Gator fan base- just 33% say they approve of the job he's doing to 19% who disapprove, with a 48% plurality still taking a wait and see approach. His approval rating is down from 46% in September. Despite winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship last fall, 72% of voters in the state say they have no opinion about Jameis Winston. 10% see him favorably and 18% unfavorably.
-Florida's teams continue to do pretty poorly when it comes to MLB loyalty in the state- the Braves lead with 17%, followed by the Marlins at 14%, Yankees at 11%, Rays at 10%, Red Sox at 8%, and Cubs at 5%. The few fans the Marlins and Rays do have remain optimistic for the season though. 65% of Marlins fans think the team will make the playoffs this year, 38% think they will make it to the World Series, and 19% think they'll win it all. Despite an abysmal start to the season Rays fans remain hopeful too- 59% think they'll make the playoffs although only 20% think they'll get to the World Series and just 12% think they'll win it. Baseball fans are either incredibly optimistic people or lie to pollsters about their expectations- or perhaps spin is a better word than lie. Joe Maddon has a 68/6 approval rating with Rays fans, Mike Redmond is at 34/5 with Marlins fans.
Full results here