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Monmouth poll shows Donald Trump leading Marco Rubio in Florida

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A new poll released Monday by Monmouth University shows New York businessman Donald Trump continuing to lead Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in his own state.

The poll shows Trump up by eight points over Rubio, carrying 38 percent of Florida primary voters compared to 30 percent who favor Rubio. A review of the data points out that in fact, Rubio would barely tie Trump in a one-on-one vote, with primary voters preferring Trump 47 to 45 in a head to head matchup.

Rubio does lead Trump in South Florida 41 to 30, but that lead evaporates across the rest of the state. Trump leads Rubio by 22 percent, while things grow tighter in North Florida 36 percent to Rubio’s 32 percent.

Trump also enjoys a 48 percent to 23 percent lead among the nearly fifth of all voters who have already cast ballots in Florida.

“Rubio is within shooting distance in his home state with a week to go in this volatile nomination contest,” said Monmouth’s Patrick Murray. “It is telling, though, that Rubio is not even the clear victor in a direct face off with Trump. There goes the argument that Rubio would triumph if only it were a two person race.”

In the increasingly likely event Trump is nominated 75 percent of Florida GOP-ers say they would support him in an Election Day contest against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, though interesting, 10 percent would defect to Clinton.

The poll was conducted from March 3-6 via telephone among 403 likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error, according to Monmouth of +4.9 percent.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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