GOP poll has Marco Rubio within striking distance of Donald Trump in Florida


Although Marco Rubio and his camp continue to say that he will win Florida in the winner-take-all GOP presidential primary March 15, there’s been little statistical evidence to date indicating that might be possible.

Until now.

A poll taken by The Tarrance Group released Saturday shows Donald Trump continuing to lead in Florida, but only by 5 percentage points over Rubio, 35.4 percent to 30.3 percent.

Ted Cruz is a distant third at 15.5 percent, and John Kasich is at 8.5 percent.

Ben Carson, who dropped out of the race officially on Friday, is at 4.6 percent.

Who gets those Carson voters is crucial, obviously.

The Tarrance Group, an Alexandria, Virginia-based Republican polling and research firm,  asked voters to list their top three choices. Overall, Rubio received a combined 66.6 percent of combined first, second and third ballots. Trump was next with 54.7 percent, Cruz was at 52.7 percent, and Kasich fourth with 40.8 percent.

The poll indicates that there’s certainly time for Rubio to catch up to Trump. While over 56 percent of those polled have already decided on their candidate, 23.5 percent say they are still looking at several candidates.

The survey also gives credence to those who claim that Trump’s appeal, while more than any other Republican running this year, caps at below 40 percent. When asked whether they would never vote for Trump, 32.4 percent agreed with that statement, with 29.4 percent saying they “strongly” held that opinion.

The poll contains the results of a telephone survey of 800 registered “likely” Republican primary voters in the state of Florida. Responses to the survey were gathered Monday through Wednesday.

The Our Principles PAC commissioned the poll, a Super PAC created to bring down Donald Trump. It was founded Katie Packer, a veteran Republican strategist who was deputy campaign manager of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Last week the group hired former Jeb Bush spokesman Tim Miller to be its communications adviser.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


  • Connie

    March 6, 2016 at 12:58 am

    This is the ONLY Poll that shows such a small lead for Trump. All others have Trump closer to 20 points. In light of the BIAS of the Anti Trump Group conducting the Poll I would say it’s VERY INACURATE!!!!!

    • Eric

      March 7, 2016 at 10:54 am

      As is your spelling.

  • Patrick Joseph Zuniga

    March 6, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Rubio has shown a tremendous capacity to close polling gaps, like he did in Va. If he truly is doing the same in Fl. and Cruz merely takes votes away from Trump, he will prevail in the sunshine state and collect the spoils.

    • Jim Z

      March 6, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Rubio will tighten the polls in the upcoming days, but Trump will be victorious on election day. Too much of a gap for Rubio to close.

  • Paul Reed

    March 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Another false poll. Rubio career as a politician is over. Trump will win Michigan, Florid and most likely Ohio. It’s for the Republican Party to wake up. Stop bashing trump, accept the fact that the people have chose him. You will not change people vote with your bias media.

  • Lee

    March 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Bogus poll. Look at the average of polls from Real Clear Politics. Trump is way ahead of Rubio in Florida.

  • Jan

    March 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Too funny. How can it be that 2 days ago, 4 different polls has Donald Trump with significant lead (44 avg Trump, 25 avg Rubio), yet this poll only has 5 points advantage? Rigged? I think so.

  • Jeb!

    March 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    This is hilarious. Marquito-mentum spin at it’s best.
    Real polls show a much different story.

  • SadStateOfAffairs

    March 8, 2016 at 12:53 am

    If Rubio defeats trump it means that we have no voice and the election is rigged. Trump has more supporters than Cruz and Rubio combined 43% to 16 and 17 percent respectively. He’s up by 20 points then all of a sudden a new poll comes out that says if Rubio wins it’s within the margin of error. What did Trumps supporters suddenly abandon him? Did Floridians realize that Marco jet setting around the country while not doing the job they elected him for didn’t piss them off?

Comments are closed.


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