A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on March 24, 2015, shows Hillary Clinton leading all Republican 2016 presidential contenders in the state of Florida. Her lead ranges from 2 percentage points over Florida Senator Marcio Rubio (48-46), to an 8 point margin over both Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (49/41) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (50/42). Notably, neither Marco Rubio, nor former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have a lead over Hillary Clinton in their home state.
Clinton holds a 47-44 lead over Jeb Bush in the Sunshine State. Florida is the most populous competitive state in presidential elections. George W. Bush and Barack Obama each carried Florida twice in their successful presidential elections, although Bush’s victory in 2000 was marred by controversy. One Republican argument for Jeb Bush’s candidacy, was that he could carry Florida’s crucial 29 Electoral votes, making the Republican path to victory easier.
However, Florida voters have a lukewarm opinion of their ex-Governor, with only 45 percent viewing him favorably, and 42 percent holding an unfavorable view towards him. In addition, only 37 percent of Floridians think Jeb Bush should run for President, while 52 percent say he should not run for President.
Hillary Clinton also has some cause for concern in the state since 51 percent of Florida voters have an unfavorable view towards her, to just 41 percent who view her favorably. Nevertheless, despite her tepid approval numbers, Clinton leads all Republican contenders, including Jeb Bush.
Incidentally, Hillary Clinton leads Texas Senator Ted Cruz by a 49-42 margin in Florida. Cruz officially announced his candidacy on Monday. The PPP poll was released on Tuesday, although the survey was conducted between March 19th and March 22nd, prior to Cruz’s announcement. 923 Florida registered voters were interviewed.
President Barack Obama managed to deliver two stinging defeats to Republican presidential candidates in Florida. In order for the Republicans to win back the White House, they must be able to retake Florida. Winning without Florida would be extremely difficult.
Republicans had hoped nominating Jeb Bush would cure their Florida problem. It won’t. The PPP poll released on Tuesday finds that even if they put Jeb Bush at the top of the ticket, Republicans are in obvious danger of losing Florida once again.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.