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Trump Surges to “Crushing” Lead in Florida While Clinton Begins to Strengthen Again

| January 20, 2016

donald trump florida poll

Trump rising. (Jeff Pearce)

In theory, four of the 12 remaining Republican candidates for president can claim some form of residency status in Florida: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.


In reality, only two have paid their dues as more or less true Floridians, to the extent that such a credential attaches to politicians. Bush served two terms as governor, Rubio served eight years in the state House, two of them as Speaker, and has been a U.S. Senator since 2011. Trump is a New Yorker, Carson spent his professional life in Maryland. Carson and Trump both have mansions in Florida–Carson in West Palm Beach, Trump in Palm Beach–but neither has served a day in office.

For all that, Floridian voters are treating Bush and Rubio like aliens and barely recognize Carson’s existence anymore while giving Trump the native-son treatment.

The latest poll of likely voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative shows Trump surging to a 47.6 percent lead among Republican candidates. His nearest competitor is Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, more than 30 points behind (at 16.3) followed by Rubio and Bush, hobbling in at 11.1 and 9.1 percent. Bush’s candidacy had all but vanished for months, but Rubio’s is depending on a strong showing in Florida for viability. It’s not there yet. Carson, meanwhile, who briefly led Trump last year (but not in Florida), has become a footnote, polling at just 3.3 percent.

“At this point, Donald Trump is simply crushing the opposition in the Florida Republican primary,” Kevin Wagner, associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said in a release. “Not only has he increased his lead, Mr. Trump’s favorability ratings among Republicans are now ahead of his competitors by a substantial margin.”

Floridians begin to go to the polls for the presidential preference primary on March 5 with early voting, ending on March 12. By then, South Carolina, Washington and Nevada will have held their primaries, as will have, between March 1 and March 8, 22 states, Washington D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. Trump, according to Real Clear Politics, the aggregator of national and state polls, still leads in new Hampshire by comfortable margins, including a 16-point lead in the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC Marist poll. He leads in Iowa by low single-digit margins, and in South Carolina by 14 points, according to the Augusta Chronicle. He generally loses in head-to-head contests against either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, and to Sanders by larger margins.

On the Democratic side in the FMU poll, Clinton has strengthened her position in head-to-head matchups against Republicans after weakening in the latter part of 2015. Clinton has turned a 3-point deficit against Cruz in November into a 5-point lead, while pulling even with Rubio after trailing him by seven points two months earlier. Clinton also closed the gap on Trump by six points and now trails the GOP frontrunner 47 to 44.3 percent. However, Bush leads Clinton in Florida 45 to 41.5 percent. Clinton also maintains a 36-point lead over Bernie Sanders (62.2 to 25.9 percent), despite losing seven points from her 43-point margin in November.

“Clinton continues to hold a solid lead on the Democratic side in Florida,” said Monica Escaleras, director of the polling institute. “She’s also performing much better against all the GOP frontrunners, including Trump.”

The polling sample for the Democratic and the Republican primary consisted of 383 and 386 likely Florida voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.9 percent. The general election sample consisted of 1,008 registered voters with a +/-3 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

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23 Responses for “Trump Surges to “Crushing” Lead in Florida While Clinton Begins to Strengthen Again”

  1. Merrill says:

    In 1928, most Germans said, “That nutcase Hitler! No one should take him seriously! ” We’d all better start paying attention now, or we will pay dearly later!

  2. Derrick R says:

    One only has to realize that Rubio & Bush III are weak on Foreign Invaders and it’s not just the working middleclass taxpayer that are tired of the day to day influx at their expense. But the folks in even worse shape trying to survive while the government of mostly Democrat’s, Leftist Republicans and Socialist Liberals promote them as their replacements in an effort to garner votes and the power to rule above the Citizenry and Constitution.

  3. YankeeExPat says:

    Now that the Trumpster has the support of Family Values Grizzly Mamma Sarah Palin, maybe she can fly back to Wasilla to post bail for her son Track Palin, who has been charged With Assault, Weapon Possession While Intoxicated. Possibly daughter Bristol Palin has some time on her hands that she has given birth to baby # 2 out of wedlock…….while continuing to promote Teen pregnancy prevention.

  4. Bc says:

    Trump can’t be any worse than what we have now

  5. Knightwatch says:

    The Trump Circus has added another clown. Wingnut Republicans (oops, that’s redundant), have profoundly embarrassed this country. I can hear people laughing from Canada, to Figi.

  6. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Should a poll of only 300 + likely voters be taken seriously?

  7. David S says:

    I can see Russia from my house.

  8. Steve Robinson says:

    Merrill, you are so right. Trump is following a script that the world thought had been torn up with the defeat of fascism in WWII: Play to people’s fears by invoking the specter of infiltration by “the other”; and convincing the ignorant and the fearful that what they need is a “strongman” who will solve all of their problems by the force of his extraordinary will and rid the nation of their perceived enemies. What really worries me is that people are slowly getting used to the idea that Trump could actually become President, which makes his ascension more likely. The media campaign we are seeing by the so-called Republican “establishment” (all 17 of them) to try and repudiate Trump is too little too late, and carefully avoids the fact that they are largely responsible for him. Where were they when McConnell and his camp followers were doing their best to de-legitimize Obama? Read Peter Wehner’s op-ed in the NYT last week and try not to gag. Was it Churchill who said that people get the government they deserve? Are we really as ugly and ignorant as Donald Trump? I hope not.

  9. YoungDude says:

    Merrill says it very well, nutcase or rape enabler, enough is enough. We will pay dearly.

  10. r&r says:

    Trump is the only one who can pull us out of this weak Islum ran country. As far as the Clintons go ,they both belong in prison.

  11. Trumpster says:

    Anyone who says anything not nice about me will suffer the consequences. The Everglades will make wonderful Concentration Camps and I know how to build them. be fore warmed you slimballs.

  12. Frank says:

    What Trump policies could an American possibly disagree with? Keeping ILLEGAL immigrants out of our country? Making our military stronger? Getting rid of being politically correct? I think the majority of Trump haters are just that…. Simply jealous, hateful people. Hate him personally because of all he has. I say lets jump on that wealth and let him make our country wealthy in every way! Go Trump!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get all the support for Trump?? BUT maybe that will be better then another life long politician IF the Rs cant get behind a constitutional conservative or libertarian in that party. He certainly will be better then either of the two old white socialists the Ds are giving us as a choice.

  14. yankee says:

    trump is a joke. If he wins the gop nomination, its the final nail in the coffin of what was a legitimate political party.

  15. Dave says:

    Don’t worry all of you Trump and Republican haters, since Palin endorsed Trump Trumps days are numbered. Every time she opens her mouth Trump supporters will move on.

  16. Dave says:

    And Clinton has broken yet another federal law. 18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

    (a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    (b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

  17. alp says:

    Trump has now added yet another right wingnut to his list of supporters; Sara Palin. At Mrs. Palin’s pep rally at a Trump circus, she proclaimed that Obama is to blame for her son’s incarceration for beating his girlfriend. The crowd cheered. I’m not sure if the cheers were for her son’s violence or because Obama allegedly caused it.

    Trump’s policies are just a rehash of whatever whines and complaints his rightie supporters are posting on social networks.

  18. Winner says:

    TRUMP / CRUZ 2016

  19. Tom Jacks says:

    Wow, You democrats are really scared of Trump. You must be scared he will win and then do what he promises to do, make this country great again, rebuild our democrat decimated military, reinstall free speech, enforce our 2nd amendment rights, secure our borders, and ban political correctness, thereby neutering all of you.

  20. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Make our country “great” again? By having an ignoramus obnoxious big mouth in meetings with the world leaders? Maybe he can have his female counterpart as his partner. Sarah that is. And rebuild our military to kill every human being he thinks is not worthy to live? How will he enforce our 2nd amendment rights? By doing away with background checks? And of course he will enforce our borders with the Great Wall of America. This man is dangerous. And it is not just Democrats who feel this way. The polls prove he is disliked by both parties equally. Read the details of the polls, not just the blaring headlines. The media is having a field day.

  21. robjr says:

    Hate and bigotry are alive and well. Watch and see how many votes are cast for Trump in Flagler county and Palm Coast.

  22. confidential says:

    TRUMP = Tyrannical Republican Ultimate Malefic Politician.
    Too bad as I used to like him in the beginning until he started his attacks to immigrants, the disadvantaged, women, etc. etc.

  23. Sandra Reynolds says:

    I never liked the man. I was a witness to how he destroyed Atlantic City’s charm as well as many inhabitant’s homes and livelihoods when he, as well as over investors, built the casinos.

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