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Poll: Bush, Rubio open up lead over Hillary Clinton in Florida

Clinton’s unfavorable rating in Florida climbs to 55 percent

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com

florida mugGAINESVILLE, Florida (CFP) — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have opened up big leads over Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the presidential race in the key swing state of Florida, a new poll shows.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

The Quinnipiac Poll released August 20 also shows New York businessman Donald Trump and Bush leading among Florida Republicans; however, nearly 30 percent of state GOP voters say they would definitely not support the controversial Trump if he became the nominee.

In a hypothetical general election race, Bush bests Clinton 49 percent to 38 percent, well outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Rubio does even better, 51 percent to 39 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The results are a marked change from the same poll in June, when Clinton held a slight lead over both Bush and Rubio. And in the latest poll, 55 percent of Florida voters had an unfavorable view of Clinton — up 10 points from June.

Nearly two-thirds of Florida voters — 64 percent — say Clinton is not honest or trustworthy.

Clinton even narrowly trails Trump, 43 percent to 41 percent, although that gap was within the margin of error.

In nine of the last 10 presidential elections, the winner of the presidential race in Florida also won nationally, making a victory in the Sunshine State vital for anyone who wants to capture the White House.

In the GOP primary race, Trump was the choice of 21 percent of Florida Republicans, with Bush at 17 percent, which was within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent. Rubio and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson tied for third at 11 percent each.

However, 29 percent of Republican voters polled say they will definitely not support Trump if he is the nominee, a larger group than those now supporting him. And just 55 percent of the GOP voters polled view Trump positively, compared to 87 percent for Rubio and 81 percent for Bush.

Trump’s demeanor is also seen as a problem, with 64 percent saying he lacks the temperament and personality to handle an international crisis.

In the Democratic primary race, Clinton still maintains a wide lead in Florida, with support from 48 percent of Democrats polled. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont trails at 15 percent, and Vice President Joe Biden, who had yet to announce a 2016 White House bid, comes in at 11 percent.

In head-to-head matchups against Republicans, Biden runs slightly better against Rubio and Trump than does Clinton but slightly worse against Bush. The poll shows Sanders is weaker than Clinton against all three Republicans.

In the poll, 1093 Florida voters were interviewed, including 477 Republicans and 345 Democrats.

In 2016, the Florida primary will be held early in the primary calendar, on March 15, which is likely to give the state added prominence in the presidential nominating process.

The Florida GOP has also made its contest a winner-take-all affair, which means the winner gets a treasure trove of 99 delegates.

Poll: Rubio, Bush lead GOP field in Florida, narrowly trail Clinton

But a Quinnipiac University poll finds a majority of Sunshine State voters think Clinton isn’t trustworthy

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

florida mugGAINESVILLE, Fla. (CFP) — Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the state’s U.S. senator, Marco Rubio, are in a dead heat in the GOP presidential sweepstakes in their home state, and both men are far ahead of the rest of the field, a new poll finds.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

The Quinniapiac University poll of Florida voters also found that while both Bush and Rubio narrowly trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in hypothetical general election match-ups, a majority of Florida voters say they think Clinton isn’t trustworthy.

In the Republican primary race, Bush was the choice of 20 percent of registered Republicans in the poll, with Rubio at 18 percent, which was within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percent. No other candidate was in double digits.

When voters were asked to name both their first and second choices in the crowded GOP field, Rubio was either the first or second choice of 36 percent of respondents; Bush, 33 percent.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

Florida  is likely to loom large in the 2016 Republican presidential contest. The state legislature moved the primary to March 15, which will make Florida first among the four largest states to hold a primary, and the Florida Republican Party decided to make it a winner-take-all affair, putting a treasure trove of 99 delegates up for grabs.

In Quinniapiac’s hypothetical general election match-ups, Clinton led Rubio 47 percent to 44 percent, just outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. Her lead over Bush was 46 percent to 42 percent.

When asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Clinton, respondents were nearly evenly split, with 47 percent saying they viewed her favorably and 45 percent unfavorably.

However, when they were asked if they found Clinton trustworthy, only 43 percent said yes, while 51 percent said no.

Bush was viewed favorably by 52 percent and unfavorably by 36 percent. Rubio was viewed favorably by 50 percent and unfavorably by 34 percent.

Florida has become a key bellweather state in presidential politics. The last person to win the White House without carrying the state was Bill Clinton in 1992, and in the last 16 presidential elections, the winner carried Florida 14 times.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal forms presidential exploratory committee

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Jindal, a Republican, to decide on White House bid after legislative session ends in June

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

louisiana mugBATON ROUGE (CFP) — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has announced the formation of an exploratory committee, a key step toward seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

“If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction. Not a course correction, but a dramatically different path,” Jindal said in a May 18 statement announcing formation of the committee. The committee also launched a website to solicit donations.

Jindal said he will hold off on a formal announcement of a White House run until after the Louisiana legislature adjourns in June.

Jindal, 43, is in his second term as governor of the Pelican State. Prior to being elected in 2007, he won two terms in the U.S. House after a stint in the administration of President George W. Bush. In recent months, he has been making a series of campaign-style appearances in early primary states.

If elected in 2016, Jindal would be the first Indian American to win the presidency. His parents emigrated to the United States shortly before he was born in 1971.

If Jindal enters the race, he will face a crowded field that already includes four fellow Southerners: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida. Three other Southerners are expected to seek the GOP nomination: Former governors Jeb Bush of Florida and Rick Perry of Texas and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has already launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas who went on to be elected to the Senate from New York.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio giving up Senate seat to seek White House

Rubio, trying to become America’s first Latino president, kicks off 2016 campaign in Miami

florida mugMIAMI (CFP) — Charging that “our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has kicked off his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

During an announcement rally in Miami April 13, the senator — at 43 one of the youngest potential candidates in the White House chase — framed the race as “a generational choice about what kind of country we will be.”

“While our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” he said.

“They are busy looking backward, so they do not see how jobs and prosperity today depend on our ability to compete in a global economy. So our leaders put us at a disadvantage by taxing, borrowing and regulating like it’s 1999.”

Rubio also took a direct swipe at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — 24 years his senior — who announced Sunday that she would seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. But yesterday is over, and we are never going back.”

Rubio, the son of refugees from Cuba’s communist dictatorship, began his campaign symbolically at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, where Cuban immigrants to the United States were processed after arriving in the 1960s.

“Their story is part of the larger story of the American miracle — how, united by a common faith in their God given right to go as far as their talent and work would take them, a collection of immigrants and exiles, former slaves and refugees, became one people,” he said.

“For almost all of human history, power and wealth belonged only to a select few … But America is different. Here, we are the children and grandchildren of people who refused to accept this.”

If he wins the presidency, Rubio would be the first Latino, and the first Cuban-American, to be elected president. Another Cuban-American, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, is also seeking the GOP nomination.

But in deciding to seek the presidency, Rubio will give up what was considered a relatively safe Senate seat, triggering a wide-open race in the Sunshine State in 2016 that will present a possible pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Rubio opted not to try to simultaneously seek the presidency and re-election to the Senate, as one of his GOP presidential rivals, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, is doing in Kentucky.

The Florida senator will also likely be battling a fellow Floridian and political mentor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is also expected to make a 2016 White House bid.

Rubio the former speaker of the Florida House, rode a wave of conservative and Tea Party support in 2010 to win a Senate seat, besting Florida’s sitting governor at the time, Charlie Crist. He quickly rose to national prominence and was mentioned as a vice presidential pick in 2012.

Rubio has also garnered headlines for his work on immigration reform, which has drawn the ire of the GOP’s small, but noisy, nativist wing. Opponents of immigration reform have also criticized Bush for much the same reason.

Rubio, Cruz, Paul and Bush are among nine Southerners — eight Republicans and one Democrat — considering a White House bid in 2016.

Among the other potential Southern GOP candidates are former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Rick Perry of Texas; U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has already launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas who went on to be elected to the Senate from New York.

Watch Rubio’s announcement speech:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to decide on White House bid in first half of 2015

Jindal would be the first Indian-American to pursue the presidency

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

louisiana mugBATON ROUGE (CFP) — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is “praying” about whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and will make a final decision in the first half of next year.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

“I haven’t made that decision,” Jindal said in a interview with NBC’s Meet The Press on November 16. “If I were to run for president, it’s because I believe in our country. The American dream is at jeopardy.”

“This president has defined the American dream as more dependence on the government. We need to restore the American dream, so it’s more about opportunity and growth and not redistribution.”

Jindal, 43, is in his second term as governor. Prior to being elected, he served in the U.S. House and was an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the administration of George W. Bush.

If he runs for the White House, Jindal would be the first Indian-American to pursue the office. No Louisianan has won the presidency since Zachary Taylor in 1848.

Jindal is one of a slew of potential Southern Republican presidential candidates in 2016, a list that includes U.S. Senators Rand Paul of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas; Texas Governor Rick Perry; and former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida.

 

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