The bell tolls for Jeb Bush in Florida

bush grimace

A new poll has Jeb Bush at single digits in Florida and trailing [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] in Miami-Dade County, where both live.

For the first time, former Florida governor Jeb Bush has fallen into single digits in a home-state Republican primary poll that shows Donald Trump still in front, trailed by Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Jeb Bush’s 9-percent, fourth-place showing in the University of North Florida poll is his worst showing in any survey of likely Florida Republican voters.

Both Bush and his former protégé and friend, Rubio, favor policies that legalize some undocumented immigrants. But Rubio is more popular than Bush and runs in third, with 14.9 percent of the GOP vote. Carson, a West Palm Beach resident, is at 19.3 percent. Trump, a part-time Palm Beach resident, is at 21.7 percent.

This poll is notable because, unlike chop-shops like PPP, the University of North Florida made a huge effort to poll Republicans.

What makes the UNF poll different from the other surveys is its relatively large size — 641 Republicans — and its methodology, which used bilingual live-callers to phone actual voters who had cast ballots in 70 percent of the previous elections. No other Florida poll has gone to such lengths to capture a snapshot of the Republican electorate that’s likely to turn out for the March 15 primaries. The margin of error is 3.87 percentage points for the poll, conducted from Oct. 8 to Oct. 13.

The percentages to each candidate and the rank ordering of candidates is basically what we’re seeing in other polls:

unf poll 1

In one combines first choice plus second choice

unf poll 1 plus 2 choices

This, too, underscores other polls. Trump has very little room to grow and the top second choice is Marco Rubio making him, financial problems notwithstanding, the man to beat. What is significant here is that the Carly Fiorina bubble seems to have passed and Bush finishes fourth in the second-choice sweepstakes.

The pollsters also asked about important issues to voters:

unf poll 2

I was a little surprised to see Terrorism in the #2 spot but I guess the war in Syria and the immigration crisis in Europe have made it more visible. Maybe instead of trolling each other, some of the candidates can start talking about this subject.