New poll: Jeb Bush falls to third place in Florida

JEB BUSH

A new poll shows both Donald Trump and [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] leading Jeb Bush in Florida.

On the Republican side, Trump had 31.5 percent of the Republican primary vote. Rubio was second with 19.2 percent and Bush was third with 11.3 percent.

Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who lives in West Palm Beach, was in fourth place with 10.3 percent.

Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive whose debate performance received widespread positive views, was in fifth place in Florida, at 8.3 percent. She was seen as the winner by 38.4 percent of Florida voters, but that didn’t translate into major support among Republican primary voters.

The poll also shows that Bernie isn’t catching fire there:

On the Democratic side, Clinton had support of 59.5 percent of her party’s likely voters. Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering running, had 15.9 percent and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had 15.2 percent. Each of the other three candidates polled at less than 2 percent.

The fact that Joe Biden, who isn’t yet in the race, draws nearly 16% indicates the profound weakness of Clinton and if he does enter the race you could very well see a collapse of her campaign.

When the poll ran head-to-head match-ups the results were revealing:

• Carson had 51.7 percent of the Florida vote to Clinton’s 39.5 percent.

• Rubio had 50.4 percent to Clinton’s 42.2 percent.

• Bush beat Clinton, 49.1 percent to 40.9 percent.

If this poll is viewed in the context of the other previous polls there are several implications:

  • Money and support are flowing to Rubio. It is expected that Rubio will be the big winner in the financial equivalent of the Oklahoma Land Rush that is underway after Scott Walker’s withdrawal from the race. As weaker candidates drop, it is Rubio, not Bush, who is the likely beneficiary.
  • Jeb Bush is going nowhere. His only strategy was to lock up all the money early and simply wait for the field to die of starvation. That isn’t going to happen.
  • Of the three outsider candidates, Ben Carson is the weakest and the one most likely to drop out first. The more one sees of Carson the more one likes him but the more one forms the opinion that he is not ready to be president.
  • Trump seems to be embedded in the 30% range. Though I would predict that as we get closer to actually voting in primaries we will see his support atrophy.