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New poll says Floridians DO want Jeb Bush & Marco Rubio to realize their presidential ambitions

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Yesterday a Public Policy Polling survey showed that a majority of Floridians wanted neither Jeb Bush nor Marco Rubio to run for president in 2016.

That was so yesterday. Literally.

A new poll released this morning from St. Leo University shows quite the opposite — 63 percent of Floridians want Bush to run for president and 58 percent say they want Rubio to do so as well.

A Bush/Rubio matchup shows the former governor besting the current U.S. senator, leading 39-30 percent.

The poll contains plenty of information about possible Senate candidates. It shows that if Rubio opts to run for re-election next year, 52 percent of all Floridians — Republicans, Democrats and independents — would vote for him again.

But if he doesn’t run?

We’ve seen Patrick Murphy announce his candidacy this week for Senate, and judging by the fact that he’s only garnering 7 percent support right now, it’s best for him that he’s off to an early start.

The two top-ranking Democrats in the survey — Charlie Crist at 33 percent, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at 14 percent — have already announced that they won’t pursue dreams of being part of the Gang of 100. (Crist endorsed Murphy earlier today.) Tampa area U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is at 8 percent, South Florida U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch is at 4 percent, and former state legislator Dan Gelber is at one percent.

Deutch endorsed Murphy earlier this week. Castor had no comment when Florida Politics inquired about her thoughts about Murphy’s entry into the race.

On the Republican side, Pam Bondi is the favorite, with 26 percent showing support for a run for the Senate (that’s in contrast to the PPP survey showing Allen West with the most support). Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is next at 14 percent. CFO Jeff Atwater is at 13 percent. Former House Speaker Will Weatherford gets 6 percent support. Eight percent prefer another candidate (the West vote?) and a whopping 33 percent say they don’t know or aren’t sure.

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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