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Bay News 9 poll shows Donald Trump crushing Marco Rubio by 20 points in Florida

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A new poll conducted by SurveyUSA for Tampa television station Bay News 9 and Orlando station News 13 shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton running away in the Florida presidential primary next week.

Trump leads Marco Rubio by a 20-point margin, 42 percent to 22 percent. Ted Cruz gets 17 percent, and John Kasich gets 13 percent.

Alex Conant, chief spokesman for the Rubio campaign, is disputing the accuracy of the polling. He told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki that the campaign has much more faith in a Monmouth University survey released on Monday that showed the Florida senator trailing Trump by only eight points, 38%-30%.

Another survey released by an anti-Trump group over the weekend had Rubio within five percentage points of Trump in Florida.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads  Bernie Sanders by 31 points, 61 percent to 30 percent.

The poll also shows that in three potential head-to-head match-ups between Clinton and GOP candidates in the fall, it’s a dead heat. That goes for Trump, Rubio and Cruz. The poll did not include Kasich in a one-on-one battle.

The poll was conducted by SurveyUSA from March 4-6. Pollsters surveyed 2,450 likely voters via home phones and smart devices. Respondents reachable on a home phone were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents who were not reachable by home phone were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other device.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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