ORLANDO, Florida – GOP front-runner Donald Trump is maintaining his lead over U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the winner-take-all delegate state of Florida, according to a new poll by Monmouth University released on Monday, March 8, 2016.
Trump has support from 38% of likely Florida primary voters compared to 30% who back Rubio. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) garners 17% support and John Kasich has 10%. Florida's Presidential Primary Election takes place on March 15 - but Early Voting and mail-ballots are already underway.
“Rubio is within shooting distance in his home state with a week to go in this volatile nomination contest,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “It is telling, though, that Rubio is not even the clear victor in a direct face off with Trump. There goes the argument that Rubio would triumph if only it were a two person race.”
If Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, 3-in-4 Florida Republicans (75%) say they would get behind him in a general election against Hillary Clinton. However, 10% would actually vote for Clinton. While the following responses were not offered in the poll question itself, 2% volunteer that they would vote 3rd party, 7% say they would not vote at all, and 6% are not sure what they would do.
Trump's Strongest Lead In Central Florida
Trump has a significant 44% to 22% advantage over Rubio in Central Florida while Rubio leads Trump 41% to 30% in South Florida. The race is closer in North Florida, with Trump at 36% and Rubio at 32%.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 3 to 6, 2016 with 403 Florida voters likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary. This sample as a margin of error of +4.9 percent.