Floridians still giving Marco Rubio high marks, but prefer Hillary Clinton for president in 2016

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Florida voters give Sen. Marco Rubio negative ratings for his work on immigration reform and strongly disagree with his vote in the U.S. Senate against requiring background checks for those buying guns, but they still give him an overall 51 – 35 percent job approval rating.

President Barack Obama gets a split 47 – 48 percent job approval rating, compared to a  50 – 45 percent approval rating in a March 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

In trial heats for the 2016 presidential race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads two favorite sons, Sen. Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, but either Republican would run neck and neck against Vice President Joe Biden.

Rubio’s approval rating is little changed from his 48 – 33 percent approval March 20, although on individual issues voters are not as enamored with the state’s junior senator:

* Voters disapprove 41 – 33 percent of the way Rubio is handling the immigration issue;
* Voters say 49 – 10 percent they think less favorably of Rubio because of his vote against expanded background checks.

Background checks are “strongly” supported by 73 percent of voters, including 63 percent of voters in houses with guns, while 14 percent of all voters support them “somewhat.”

“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,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.