Times are tough for former Florida governor Jeb Bush he has fallen into single digits in a Florida Republican primary poll that shows Donald Trump still in front, trailed by Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio.
Both Bush and Rubio, favor policies that legalize some undocumented immigrants. But Rubio is more popular than Bush and runs in third, with 14.9 percent of the GOP vote to the 9 percent for Bush. It really is a four person Florida race because Carson, is a West Palm Beach resident, who polls at 19.3 percent. Trump, a part-time Palm Beach resident, remains the frontrunner at 21.7 percent.
Jeb Bush’s 9-percent, fourth-place showing in the University of North Florida poll is his worst showing in any survey of likely Florida Republican voters.
What makes the UNF poll different from the other surveys and more troubling to Bush is its relatively large size. The poll included 641 Republicans and its methodology, which used bilingual live callers to phone actual voters who had cast ballots in 70 percent of the previous elections. No other Florida poll has gone to such lengths to capture a snapshot of the Republican electorate that’s likely to turn out for the March 15 primaries. The margin of error is 3.87 percentage points for the poll, conducted from Oct. 8 to Oct. 13.
A bit of a surprise with Trump in the lead is that the poll showed that 54 percent of those voters favor various immigration policies that allow “unauthorized immigrants” the ability to legally stay in the United States.
The poll also suggests Bush may be trailing Rubio in Miami-Dade County, where both men reside. More than 72 percent of the registered Republicans in the county are Hispanic, and Rubio leads 31-26 percent over Bush with Hispanic Republicans statewide. (The poll did not measure results by county.)
Asked to state their second choice, 20.1 percent of all likely GOP voters said Rubio, followed by Carson at 14.9 percent, and Carly Fiorina at 11.1 percent. (In first-choice preferences, Fiorina polled in sixth place at 6.5 percent behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.) Bush, again, came in fourth place as a second choice, at 10.2 percent.
Of note this is the ninth consecutive poll showing Trump on top since early August. But Trump has his narrowest lead yet.