Public Policy Polling: After his star performance at the convention last week Florida Republicans say they’d slightly prefer Marco Rubio to Jeb Bush as their Presidential candidate in 2016, in the event that Mitt Romney loses this fall. 24% say Rubio would be their top choice to 22% for Bush, with Condoleezza Rice at 12%, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Paul Ryan all at 10%, Rand Paul at 4%, Sarah Palin at 3%, and Rick Santorum at 1%.
Rubio leads the way thanks to strong support from Tea Party voters. He stands at 34% with them to 18% for Bush, 15% for Ryan, and 12% for Huckabee. He also has the advantage with evangelicals at 29% to 17% for Bush, 14% for Huckabee, and 11% each for Rice and Ryan. Bush draws his support from more middle of the road Republicans, leading Rubio 24-16 with moderates and 27-21 with ‘somewhat conservative’ voters.
One thing that’s clear is there will be a lot of potential candidates who GOP voters love in 2016 if Romney falters. 4 of the candidates come in over 80% in their personal numbers with Republican voters- Rice at 90/6, Bush at 87/8, Rubio at 87/9, and Ryan at 84/9.
It’s a completely different story on the Democratic side in terms of the depth of the bench. Hillary Clinton at 84/11 is the only potential candidate on that front over 80%, at 84/11. Joe Biden’s the only other Democrat we tested who even has over 50% name recognition, coming in at 69/20. By contrast everyone else we tested on the GOP side has a favorability rating over 50%- Chris Christie at 71/13, Sarah Palin at 66/23, Rick Santorum at 60/19, and Rand Paul at 52/25 round out the people we tested.
If Clinton didn’t run Biden would be the first choice of Democrats at 31% to 21% for Cuomo, 8% for Warren, 6% for O’Malley, 2% each for Patrick and Warner, and less than 1% for Schweitzer. And if neither Clinton nor Biden runs it’s really up for grabs- 43% of voters would be undecided in that instance with 31% for Cuomo, 10% for Warren, 7% for Patrick, 6% for O’Malley, 3% for Warner, and less than 1% for Schweitzer.
Full results here.