Trump leads Rubio Even Head To Head in Florida

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest Florida Republican poll (conducted Wednesday and Thursday before the debate) finds Donald Trump dominant in the state. He’s getting 45% to 25% for Marco Rubio, 10% for Ted Cruz, 8% for John Kasich, and 5% for Ben Carson.

The most remarkable thing in this poll though is what happens when you narrow the field down to just Trump and Rubio- Trump still leads by double digits at 52/38. Rubio does win over supporters of Cruz (56/25), Kasich (47/32), and Carson (64/21) in such a scenario. But Trump has such a big lead to begin with and picks up enough of the supporters of the also rans that it gives him the overall 14 point advantage.

Rubio’s trouble doesn’t end there. His approval rating as Senator has cratered to a 31/55 spread, compared to a much more evenly divided 41/44 when we last polled the state in September. Only 40% of voters in the state think he should continue with his campaign, compared to a 44% plurality who think it’s time for him to drop out. And he narrowly trails both Hillary Clinton (45/43) and Bernie Sanders (44/42) in head to head general election match ups. Rubio’s become quite unpopular at home over the course of his campaign.

Winning has made Trump more popular. 64% of Republicans in Florida now have a favorable opinion of him to only 27% with a negative one. That actually puts him ahead of Rubio’s 60/28 standing. The most broadly popular Republican for what little it’s worth is Carson at 65/18. Kasich’s at 53/22, and for the second state in a row we find Cruz under water at 39/48. We found that he had slipped into negative territory on our final South Carolina poll as well. 

Things are still somewhat fluid in Florida- 36% of voters say they might change their minds between now and the primary. But Trump has by far the most committed supporters- 79% say they will definitely vote for him, compared to 62% for Cruz, 54% for Rubio, 44% for Kasich, and just 26% for Carson. When you look at the standings just among voters who’ve completely made up their minds Trump goes up to 59% to 22% for Rubio, 10% for Cruz, 6% for Kasich, and 2% for Carson.

Trump’s hold on the GOP electorate is thorough. He leads with 51% of men, 51% of younger voters, 49% of moderates, 43% of somewhat conservative voters, 41% of seniors, 39% of women, and 39% of very conservative voters. There’s not a single group we track he doesn’t have a double digit lead with.  Beyond leading the head to head with Rubio, Trump also gets 51% in a three man field to 33% for Rubio, and 11% for Cruz. And he leads Cruz 62/30 head to head.

On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton has a dominant advantage, getting 57% to 32% for Bernie Sanders.

Clinton’s particularly strong among African Americans with whom she leads 68/26, but she’s also up 54/34 with whites and 54/40 with Hispanics. Clinton also benefits from Florida having an older Democratic primary electorate- her 66/23 advantage with seniors takes her further here than it does other places. Another thing working to Clinton’s advantage is Florida having a closed primary- we’ve consistently found her up big with Democrats but Sanders’ strength with independents cuts significantly into her lead in open primary states. 85% of Clinton’s supporters say they’re firmly committed to her, compared to 61% of Sanders’ who say the same for him.

The general election match ups in Florida are generally close. Trump is the only Republican to lead the Democratic hopefuls- he gets 46% to Clinton’s 44%, and 47% to Sanders’ 44%. Michael Bloomberg gets 10-11% as an independent- he takes pretty equally from Clinton and Trump, leaving Trump up 42-41. But in a scenario with Trump and Sanders he takes mostly from the Democrat, leaving Trump with an 11 point lead at 45/34. Clinton and Sanders do have wider leads over Cruz at 47/39 and 46/39 respectively.

Finally we find that 38% of Florida voters think it’s possible that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. 10% say he for sure is, and another 28% say that they are just not sure. Cruz is exonerated from being a toddler serial killer by 62% of the Sunshine State populace.

Full results here

Related Polls