More than half of Floridians think their state’s two most prominent presidential hopefuls should sit out the 2016 race altogether, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
The poll finds that voters in the Sunshine State aren’t pining for former governor Jeb Bush and current senator Marco Rubio, both Republicans, to jump into the race. Just 37 percent of Florida voters want Bush to run, while 52 percent do not. Support for a Rubio run is even lower among Floridians at 35 percent, compared to 51 percent who want him to sit the race out.
Despite their subdued home-state support, both Bush and Rubio give presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a tough run in the poll, although she still leads them both. In a head-to-head match-up, Clinton has a slight edge over Bush, 47 percent to 44 percent, with 9 percent undecided. Against Rubio, her lead is even narrower at 48 percent to his 46 percent, with just six percent undecided.
#related#Nonetheless, the Floridian presidential hopefuls do have an edge over Clinton in their approval ratings. 45 percent of residents approve of Rubio’s job performance as senator, compared to 40 percent who do not. Bush has similar numbers: 45 percent have a favorable view of their former governor, while 42 percent have an unfavorable one. Among all Republican candidates, Bush and Rubio score the highest.
By comparison, more than half of Florida’s voters — 51 percent– have an unfavorable view of Clinton, compared to just 41 percent who view her favorably.
Florida is traditionally one of the most important swing states of any presidential cycle, and this snapshot of the state’s voters appears to show that 2016 will be no different.
— Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online.