A new 2016 presidential poll of Florida voters Wednesday puts Illinois-born Democrat Hillary Clinton in the lead over Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, both longtime Floridians whose political careers have been centered in the Sunshine State.
The Quinnipiac University poll gave the former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state 50 percent over Bush and 53 percent over Rubio. Bush and Rubio held 43 and 41 percent respectively.
Vice President Joe Biden fell in behind both Republicans. Though none of the candidates polled have officially announced a bid for president in 2016, all are prospective candidates. Clinton, who had her 2008 campaign debt paid in full by President Obama early this year, is the current favorite among potential Democratic candidates.
Clinton’s overall popularity in Florida is 57 percent, with a disapproval rating of 38 percent. Bush comes in second again with 54 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval. Rubio trails both with an approval rating of 51 percent, and 35 percent disapproval.
Rubio’s ratings are down from a similar poll in March following his spotlighted role in the Senate’s controversial immigration bill as a member of the ‘Gang of Eight’ senators who drafted the bill. Voters disapprove 41 – 33 percent of the the Florida senator has handled the immigration bill, which is currently under debate on the floor of the Senate.
The 2010 tea party favorite also found himself on the wrong side of Florida voters over the controversial gun background check bill that went through the Senate earlier this year. After his vote against the bill, 49-10 percent think less favorably of Rubio.
“A mark of an able politician is one who can keep his support among the electorate even when that politician follows his own path rather than the public’s preference on a high-profile issue like immigration or gun control,” Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Peter A. Brown said in the poll released Wednesday.