Real-estate magnate Donald Trump’s surge in the polls has extended to the home state of two of the Republican Party’s top presidential hopefuls.
Trump has overtaken former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) in Republican primary polling in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday.
The poll showed Trump with 21% of the Republican vote in the Sunshine State, compared with 17% for Bush and 11% for Rubio. That represents a sizable shift from Quinnipiac’s last survey of the state in June, when Bush grabbed 20% of the vote and Rubio had 18%. Trump, who had just entered the presidential race, got just 3% of the vote.
“It was just reported that in Florida I’m leading Bush by a lot and I’m leading Rubio by a tremendous amount,” Trump said in a Fox Business interview Thursday.
“Now, I have a lot of properties in Florida. I own Doral [luxury resort]. I own many, many properties in Florida. I love that state. It’s an amazing state. But when you’re leading the two people — you’re leading the current senator and the ex-governor — by a lot, that’s sort of nice.”
This isn’t the first time a poll has shown Trump leading Florida, though Quinnipiac was the first to provide an earlier point of comparison. Last month, a StPetePolls.org survey showed Trump leading both Bush and Rubio.
Bush and Rubio are viewed as two of the likeliest potential GOP nominees in a crowded field — in fact, Quinnipiac tested both candidates, as well as Trump, in head-to-head matchups against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump also led Republican polls of in Pennsylvania and Ohio. But both Bush and Rubio have clear strengths over Trump that could prove decisive over the long haul.
Though Trump is leading in all three states, he has the worst scores on favorability among GOP candidates. And more voters view him as not “honest and trustworthy” than any other Republican candidate, as well.
Both Bush and Rubio also poll much better against Clinton and Biden in theoretical general-election matchups. In Florida, for example, Bush leads Clinton by 11 points and Biden by 13 points. Rubio leads Clinton by 12 and Biden by 6.
Trump is beating Clinton, but by the statistically insignificant amount of 2 points. And he trails Biden, 45-42.
“Donald Trump may have the raw horserace numbers, but below the surface there is a looming problem,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
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