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New poll has Jeb Bush up big over Marco Rubio in Florida

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Jeb Bush leads Marco Rubio 28 to 16 percent in Florida in a Mason-Dixon poll released today via Politico’s Marc Caputo.

That’s a significant drop-off in support for Rubio in Florida. In a previous survey conducted by Mason-Dixon nearly three months ago, the two Miami-Dade County residents were virtually tied, with Bush up 31-30 percent over Rubio.

The biggest benefactor of Rubio’s drop in Florida appears to be Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who officially announced his presidential candidacy on July 13. Walker is now third place in Florida with 13 percent support, just three points south of Rubio.

Donald Trump, who has dominated media coverage of the GOP race over the past two months and leads some national polls, is only in fourth place in Florida, with 11 percent.

“This is the first Florida poll taken entirely since Trump’s remarks regarding John McCain’s Vietnam War service. His 11 percent showing in Florida is far below his support in recent national polls. This could be the result of the home state advantage of both Bush and Rubio,” Mason Dixon pollster Brad Coker writes. “However, the fact that Walker has slipped ahead of him may be a stronger sign that his candidacy is fading. Furthermore, there is a clear ceiling that Trump has among Florida Republicans. When asked if they are considering a vote for Trump, a large majority (58 percent) said they were not. Only 27 percent gave an indication that Trump was under their serious consideration.”

All the other Republican candidates are polling in the single digits. Thirteen percent of voters polled said they were undecided.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is dominating, leading Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders 58-17 percent. Martin O’Malley garners just 2 percent support, while Lincoln Chaffee and former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb get no support. Twenty three percent of Democrats are undecided.

Mason Dixon surveyed 500 statewide. The overall error-margin for the statewide poll is 4 percent.

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

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