MIAMI, Florida – Republican front-runner Donald Trump has a 2-1 lead over U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the winner-take-all GOP delegate state of Florida, according to the latest poll by Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday, March 9 2016.
Trump's gain over Rubio in the Sunshine State was mostly due to Rubio falling in the polls. The latest poll has Trump at 45% to Rubio's 22% - a six point drop for Rubio from a February Quinnipiac poll that had Rubio at 28% to Trump's 44%.
Among Florida likely Republican primary voters, Trump leads Rubio 39 - 27 percent among women and 50 - 17 percent among men. Self-described Tea Party members go 48 percent for Trump, 40 percent for Cruz and 9 percent for Rubio. Trump gets 39 percent of white, born-again evangelicals, with 30 percent for Cruz and 21 percent for Rubio.
Rubio also trails Trump among voters who say they are "very conservative," "somewhat conservative" or "moderate or liberal."
Rubio also trails among likely Republican primary voters in every age group.
"The effort within the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidential nomination appears unlikely to stop him from taking Florida's delegate-rich winner-take-all primary," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
"In the Sunshine State, hometown hero Sen. Marco Rubio is 23 points behind Trump and isn't even doing much better than Sen. Ted Cruz. Also discouraging for the anti-Trump folks is that Trump voters say they are less likely than those supporting any of the other candidates to change their mind in the closing days."
"With Florida the largest state awarding delegates on a winner-take-all basis, a Trump win would increase even more his chances of winning the nomination," Brown added. "Between the two March 15 battlegrounds, 165 of the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination are available."