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. Public Policy Polling’s new poll finds that just 35 percent of Floridians think Bush should run for President, to 50 percent who think he should sit it out. For Rubio the numbers are even less encouraging — only 27 percent of voters in the state think he should run with 59 percent 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 percent to 14 percent for Rubio, 11 percent for Paul, 9 percent for Cruz, 8 percent for Christie, 7 percent for Huckabee and Scott Walker, 2 percent for Paul Ryan, and 1 percent 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.