Trump Up 23 Points in Florida, Where Clinton Leads by 28

Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz by 23 points in the latest survey of likely Republican voters in Florida, where Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 28 points among Democrats, a new FAU poll says

Trump leads in the GOP primary among whites with 43 percent and has a two-point lead over Rubio (37 to 35 percent) in the battle for the Hispanic vote. Sanders has 63 percent of support among younger voters (18-34), while Clinton holds a 20-point lead among white voters and has support from 75 percent of both African Americans and Hispanics.


By james-hellegaard | 3/12/2016

Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz by 23 points in the latest survey of likely Republican voters in Florida, where Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 28 points among Democrats, according to a new poll by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI). The survey was conducted in Florida from March 8-11.

Trump leads the GOP field in Florida with 44 percent; followed by Cruz and Rubio tied at 21 percent; and John Kasich at 9 percent. Trump is down four points from FAU’s January poll, while Rubio has gained 10 points and Cruz five points.

With Florida’s winner-take-all primary taking place on Tuesday, March 15, Trump appears poised to take the state’s 99 delegates. Trump’s favorability rating among GOP voters in Florida dipped from 70 percent in FAU’s January poll to 56 percent in this poll, compared to Rubio at 48 percent, Cruz at 44 percent and Kasich at a somewhat surprising 60 percent.

Kasich’s numbers show that favorability doesn’t always translate into votes, said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative.

 “There is some evidence that this campaign is taking a toll on the candidates,” Wagner said. “The favorability ratings for Trump, Rubio and Cruz are all down sharply in Florida. While Sen. Rubio has rebounded some in our polling, he is still far behind Mr. Trump and running out of time.”

Clinton leads Sanders 59 percent to 31 percent in Florida. While Sanders has shaved 15 points off Clinton’s 43-point lead from November 2015, Clinton continues to enjoy a sizable lead in Florida thanks in part to a favorability rating of 84 percent among Democratic voters compared to 55 percent for Sanders.

Trump leads in the GOP primary among whites with 43 percent and has a two-point lead over Rubio (37 to 35 percent) in the battle for the Hispanic vote. Sanders has 63 percent of support among younger voters (18-34), while Clinton holds a 20-point lead among white voters and has support from 75 percent of both African Americans and Hispanics.

“On the Democratic side, Clinton has the vast majority of votes among Hispanics and African Americans,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “So far, the strategy of Hillary Clinton of targeting minorities seems to be working in Florida.”

There is a difference in what Republic and Democratic voters seek as an important quality for a president, Escaleras said.

“In the case of Republicans, they are looking for a political outsider and strong commander-in-chief,” Escaleras said. “While the majority of Democrats are looking for experience or a proven leader and strong commander-in chief, which is helping Clinton.”

The polling sample for the Democratic and the Republican primary consisted of 414 and 852 likely Florida voters, respectively, with a margin of error of +/-4.8 percent for Democratic primary and a margin of error of +/-3.3 percent for the Republican primary at a 95 percent confidence level. 

For more information, contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., at 561-297-1312 or BEPI@fau.edu, or visit www.business.fau.edu/bepi

-FAU-

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