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Rubio Poll Numbers Among Republicans Slip Over Immigration Reform

Marco Rubio 2

Nate Silver notes that recent polling seems to indicate that Florida Senator Marco Rubio has suffered some damage in the polls among Republicans for his support of the Senate’s version of immigration reform:

Only two surveys, one by ABC News and The Washington Post and one by Rasmussen Reports, have tested Mr. Rubio’s popularity since the Senate reached the final stages of passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Both measured double-digit drops in his net favorability rating among Republicans.

Mr. Rubio is still very popular among Republicans, just not as popular as he once was, particularly in the days after the 2012 presidential election when he became a leading Republican voice and began being discussed as a top contender in the 2016 presidential race.

Indeed, Mr. Rubio led in an average of the first few 2016 Republican primary polls released after the 2012 election, but support for him has faded in more recent 2016 primary surveys.

In the four national surveys conducted in January, an average of 20 percent of Republicans said they would support Mr. Rubio for the party’s nomination in 2016. That number dropped to an average of 11 percent in the four primary polls conducted in June.

Before the Senate took up immigration reform, Mr. Rubio was largely a blank slate, upon whom both establishment Republicans and Tea Party supporters could project what they wanted (a dynamic that Barack Obama benefited from in 2008). Now Mr. Rubio has chosen a side, at least on immigration, and as long as it is a top issue in the news, Mr. Rubio may be identified more with the moderate wing of his party.

The chart tells the tale:

Rubio Chart

 

As Silver notes, it was inevitable that Rubio’s numbers would slip somewhat from the high’s that they’d been at virtually from the time he took office in the wake of the 2010 election. If it had not been immigration that brought the numbers down, it would have been something else. From the point of view of a hypothetical 2016 race, it’s arguably better that the dip happen sooner rather than later given that Rubio now has the chance to bounce back among conservatives and continue building bridges to moderate Republicans and the Independent voters who will vote in open primary states. Will it work? Only time will tell, but counting Rubio out at this point is foolish.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tyrell says:

    We hear about immigration reform, tax reform, education reform, and climate change measures. What the American people need is middle class working people reform. Lower taxes, lower gas prices, less federalism. Its the American middle class working people that need a break.
    “Have you had your break today?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  2. Anonymous Coward says:

    It’s not Nate Silver writing this article, it’s his employee Micah Cohen

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. Caj says:

    Of course the numbers are slipping! I doubt the numbers were high to start with! Majority of Republicans don’t want immigration reform it’s that simple. They love to moan about them all day long, but who will their big business buddies have to do the hard slog of working in the fields? One of those GREAT jobs that Mexicans are taking away from Americans…not! Some Americans wouldn’t get out of bed to do that hard work on a daily basis, far too strenuous for some! Whatever work immigrants do, it’s all slave labour and that’s what big business like, get the work done on the cheap. Who will tend to Mr 47% Romney’s garden? They don’t want to “fix it”, they can continue to moan about them as that’s what they do best. If Marco Rubio thought for one minute his ‘fake’ interest in getting it done was going to get him into the White House, he backed the wrong horse with the party he belongs to, the party of No. Let me add sense to that.
    Making it the party of NO SENSE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  4. Barry says:

    It’s rough being Hispanic in the GOP. On the good side, screw him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  5. Barfour says:

    I still think that Rubio is a top contender for the republican presidential contest in 2016. There will be enough moderates, independents and even conservatives he can count on in the 2016 primaries. Rubio is also young. If he fails in 2016, he can come back in four or eight years time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    it’s arguably better that the dip happen sooner rather than later given that Rubio now has the chance to bounce back among conservatives and continue building bridges to moderate Republicans and the Independent voters

    While you are right Doug that one should not count him out just yet, I have a hard time envisioning a way to thread that needle. And threading that needle is what is needed to run a national campaign. I honestly don’t think a Republican can win in 2016 with the party constructed as it now is. Unless the economy implodes. Than it is anybodies guess.

    If he were to ask me, I would tell him to let Santorum have the nomination in 2016. He will get beat like a redheaded step child. Then Rubio can run in 2020 and be the great savior of the GOP. There is risk with waiting, but if he really wants to be president the last thing he wants is to get the nomination and then lose the general. And I just don’t see today’s GOP able to win a national election. It has yet to have it’s ‘Come to Jesus’ moment.

    But then again, he’s not asking me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. PJ says:

    I want Rubio to run just to see the numbers in Utah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha …
    Rubio is almost a RINO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    Lower taxes, lower gas prices, less federalism. Its the American middle class working people that need a break.
    “Have you had your break today?”

    We have the lowest marginal federal income tax rates since the 1950’s, and gas prices are determined on the open market – what do you suggest, more tax cuts and price controls for petroleum prices?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  10. Jen says:

    Gov. Perry–backs some sort of immigration reform, goes as far as he can restricting abortion.
    Sen. Rubio–backs immigration reform, introduces measure in the Senate restricting access.
    Gov. Walker–backs a path to citizenship, signs legislation restricting abortion.

    Anyone else sensing a pattern of shoring up the base here?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. stonetools says:

    @Jen:

    Spot on. A definite pattern.

    “Me a moderate, a RINO? No way. Watch me throw women’s reproductive rights under the bus!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  12. JohnMcC says:

    I have an unfortunate habit of looking in on several right-wing sites such as red-state, town-hall and the n-r-o. Comment sections there are loaded with anti-Rubio remarks and no one seems to defend him. Not that this means he still couldn’t get lots of Repub votes in a primary; he’s a pretty attractive candidate. But FWIW….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: All I can tell you is there is too much time between paychecks and if we belt tighten any more we will be in the emergency room to have our stomach muscles repaired. Food prices – doubled in the last few years, gas prices were $2 a gallon in 2008, now $3.43, no pay raises or cost of living, prescriptions keep going up. The middle class is getting squeezed. Too much month and not enough check.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Barry says:

    @Barfour: “I still think that Rubio is a top contender for the republican presidential contest in 2016. There will be enough moderates, independents and even conservatives he can count on in the 2016 primaries. Rubio is also young. If he fails in 2016, he can come back in four or eight years time. ”

    OTOH, he’s a poster child for the Hispanic wing of the GOP, which the GOP is working very, very hard on destroying. He’s also based in Florida, which is a Hispanic-heavy state, and likely to flip to a Democratic state (on all state-wide elections).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. JoshB says:

    @Tyrell:

    It was great when gas was so cheap in 2008, when we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, the world economy was crashing, and along fell the demand for oil. Lets go back to that $2 gas and all that came with it, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. SafeTea says:

    @stonetools: What about the baby’s God-given right to life? I’d say that trumps a woman’s man-given right to butcher her baby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2