With 16 candidates running for the 2016 GOP Presidential the focus in Florida in not one but two favorite son’s. A new Mason Dixon Polling and Research survey shows that former Gov. Jeb Bush has taken a commanding over Sen. Marco Rubio 28 to 16 percent in their home state. Just three months ago the two “Sunshine Boys,” were in a virtual tie with Bush 31 and Rubio is 30 percent.
Rubio’s 15 percentage-point drop coincides with the rise of Gov. Scott Walker, who’s now in third place with 13 percent – an 11 point increase for the Wisconsin governor since the April survey. In the more-contested GOP primary, 13 percent are undecided, a decrease of 4 points since April. Because the number of undecided voters didn’t shrink much while Rubio’s support plummeted, he could have lost voters to Walker and Trump, who wasn’t named in the last survey. Bush’s 2-point drop since April is statistically insignificant, indicating his support has essentially remained stable.
Bush also leads Rubio and all others in Florida when it comes fund raising, netting some $11.4 million in campaign contributions Bush received in the just-ended quarter, $2.6 million came from Florida. Rubio raised a total of $8.9 million, $1.9 million of which came from Florida. Rubio has more money in his campaign bank account, but Jeb has far more financial support from now-independent third-party political committees. In total dollars raised between the committees and the campaigns, Bush leads Rubio $119 million to $45.2 million nationally.
Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade county things were even more surprising Bush leads Rubio 35-25 percent among registered GOP voters, according to the public-opinion survey conducted by Bendixen and Amandi International for the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. No other contender in the Republican field of 16 declared candidates cracked double digits in the poll of Miami-Dade, the most populous county in the nation’s largest swing state.
Perhaps the most surprising finding in the poll is that Bush is more popular than Rubio even among Cuban-American Republicans, by 43-31 percent — even though Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants. The other Cuban American in the race, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, drew 7 percent support.
While Bush has been the most successful fundraiser by far in the GOP field, he has not significantly outpaced Rubio in their home county. Campaign-finance reports released last week show Rubio has held his own in Miami-Dade, nearly matching Bush’s local haul of $557,000. Rubio was able to raise $512,000.
Among Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton garnered a staggering 77 percent support in the poll. Clinton, who defeated Barack Obama in Florida when she ran for president in 2008, has yet to hold a public event in the state, but she has hit up backers for cash, amassing $944,000 from Miami-Dade alone in the fundraising quarter that ended June 30.
For those who need to know we are July 24, 2015 and the Florida’s winner take-all primary is March 15, 2016. So there is plenty of time for things to change and in politics so stay tuned.