Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton start out ahead in Florida for 2016

A poll released over the weekend finds clear favorites on both the Democratic and Republican side, as presidential candidates ready to line up to run in 2016. Florida has traditionally been the first large state to hold its primary, after the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.
Gravis Marketing unveiled a poll over the weekend showing former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., out front with 33 percent followed by fellow Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent. Two Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky — are knotted in third with 11 percent each.

The rest of the field is in single digits. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., takes 6 percent, just ahead of Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who claim 5 percent each. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., lags with 3 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starts out 2016 as the favorite to win the Florida primary for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Gravis poll shows Clinton claiming 51 percent of Florida Democrats. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., runs a distant second with 18 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 12 percent. Two governors — Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Andrew Cuomo of New York — lag far behind. O’Malley takes 4 percent and Cuomo 2 percent.

If Rubio runs for president, he has said he will probably not run for a second term in the U.S. Senate. Gravis polled Republicans who they want to replace Rubio with — 38 percent of them saying Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, 17 percent saying state CFO Jeff Atwater and 16 percent saying Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. No other candidates — including current and past members of Congress — were included in the poll. Atwater passed at running for the Senate in 2012 and both he and Putnam are generally included as possible gubernatorial candidates in 2018 when Gov. Rick Scott faces term limits.

The poll of 811 Florida Republican primary voters was taken Nov. 20-Nov. 21 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. The poll of 694 Florida Democratic primary voters was taken at the same time and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN