Trump Holds Solid Leads In Florida And Ohio Polling

Less than a week before what may be the most important week of the campaign, Donald Trump is in very good shape. Marco Rubio and John Kasich? Not so much.

Donald Trump Speaking

A series of new polls out of Florida and Ohio shows Donald Trump in a comfortable position in both Florida and Ohio heading into what may be the most important week of the entire race for the Republican nomination:

Florida and Ohio are looking like friendly states for Donald J. Trump ahead of their primary elections next Tuesday, according to two new polls.

Surveys from CNN/ORC released on Wednesday show Mr. Trump with solid leads, potentially dealing serious blows to the campaigns of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. Both will face calls to quit the race if they fail to hold their home states.

In Florida, 40 percent of likely Republican voters support Mr. Trump, while 24 percent back Mr. Rubio. Trailing them are Senator Ted Cruz with 19 percent and Mr. Kasich with 5 percent.

Florida voters view Mr. Trump as being most fit to handle the economy, foreign policy and immigration. Mr. Cruz does better when it comes to social issues.

A separate poll released on Wednesday from Quinnipiac University shows an even steeper climb for Mr. Rubio in Florida, with Mr. Trump leading him by 23 percentage points.

In Ohio, Mr. Trump holds a smaller advantage over Mr. Kasich, topping him by a margin of 41 percent to 35 percent, according to CNN/ORC. Mr. Cruz comes in third with 15 percent, followed by Mr. Rubio at 7 percent.

Like Mr. Rubio in Florida, Mr. Kasich’s candidacy rests on a strong performance in Ohio. The poll shows him winning among women and holder voters. He is also seen as being better on social issues and more empathetic to the needs of voters.

Quinnipiac’s Ohio poll also shows Mr. Trump leading Mr. Kasich by 6 points, with the rest of the pack lagging far behind.

The surveys were conducted over the weekend while voters were going to the polls in other states and the outcomes could sway voters next week. CNN’s poll had a margin of error of plus or minus six percentage points, while Quinnipiac’s margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.

The new Florida polls come in the wake of several other polls that show Trump leading Rubio in his home state, thus casting doubt on just how viable the Senator’s campaign really is at this point. A poll from the University of North Florida, for example gives Trump a 12 point lead over Rubio at 36% to 24% with Ted Cruz in third place at 16% and John Kasich at 10%. A SurveyUSA poll gives Trump at 20 point lead over Rubio at 42% to 22% with Ted Cruz at 17% and Kasich in single digits. Finally, a Monmouth University poll that now appear to be an outlier gives Trump just an eight point lead over Rubio at 38% to 30%, with Ted Cruz and John Kasich again at 17% and 10% respectively. All of this gives Trump a 15.8% average lead according to RealClearPolitics, with him averaging 40.2% to Rubio’s 24.4%, followed by Ted Cruz at 17.4% and Kasich at 8.4%. Obviously, this is quite good news for Trump, and quite bad news for Rubio, who must win in his home state to maintain any sense of a credible campaign, and likely to maintain any semblance of a political future in Florida at this point. Absent something radical happening, the idea that Rubio will be able to close this gap seems fanciful, which is likely why even some of Rubio’s top advisers are saying that he should drop out of the race before the Florida primary unless it appears that he has some chance of winning.

Heading north to Ohio, the situation doesn’t appear to be quite as bleak for Ohio Governor John Kasich, but it also doesn’t look very good either. Other than the CNN/ORC polls, the only other recent poll come from Public Policy Polling, and it shows Trump with a smaller lead of just three point. Nonethess, RealClearPolitics gives Trump a five point lead over Kaisch at 39% to 34%, with Ted Cruz coming in third place at 15.3% and Marco Rubio coming in fourth at 7.0%. As with Rubio in Florida, a loss by Kasich in Ohio would be fatal to his political career going forward. While Kasich cannot run for another term as Governor, he could potentially run for the Senate against Sherrod Brown in the future. Such a prospect would be significantly reduced, though, if he fails to win his home state in a multiple candidate election just a couple years after being re-elected with more than 60% of the vote just two years ago..

Obviously, if these poll numbers hold up it would be very good news for Donald Trump since they portend potential victory in the first big winner-take-all states of the election cycle. Winning both states would give Trump more than 150 delegates, something that would both place him much closer to winning the nomination and make it far more difficult for Ted Cruz or any of the other candidates to catch up to him or prevent him getting a majority of delegates before the convention. Indeed, with just those wins in Ohio and Florida, Trump would need to win less than half of the delegates remaining to win the nomination. If he picks up wins in other March 15th states, such as Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina, he would be even closer to closing the deal and winning the nomination outright.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. grumpy realist says:

    I still wonder how many people are voting for Trump because they honestly think he’s be a good POTUS, versus those who don’t care what he does; they’re just wanting to burn the Republican Party down and don’t care if they get caught in the conflagration as well.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: I commented on another thread that they believe in salvation through faith, not works. That’s how they can believe W “kept us safe”. He said he wanted to keep us safe, which is the same thing as doing it. Trump says he wants to restore jobs. That’s it, he’s a job creator.

    They have no idea what the President does or how he does it. They don’t know how any of this stuff works. Throwing rocks into the machinery feels right.

  3. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: Ah, the Tinkerbell Party.

    It is fun watching the Republican Party run around with its hair on fire wringing its hands because the peasants don’t support the candidates they’re supposed to.

    They seem to be settling around Cruz as the non-Trump, although a few are still in bye-bye land holding out for Rubio or Kasich with a Garrison finish.

    This will be interesting. If the Establishment supports Cruz… that going to help him or hurt him?

    A Trump-Cruz cage match. Wonderful.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: And we already know who the loser would be. Us.

  5. Pch101 says:


    Populists tend to be impractical and have a utopian streak (although in the case of the right, it may be utopian-dystopic.) They presume that they don’t get what they want because the forces of badness are conspiring against them.

    Populists fail to recognize that they are on the losing end because their ideas are not that popular and/or don’t actually work. But of course, that sort of blindness is to be expected from the impractical sorts who are prone to populism.

  6. Dave Francis says:



    The only reason the Republicans and Democrats are throwing derogatory remarks at Donald Trump, is their lucrative worlds are about to collapse. All the perks from the Special interests are falling apart, because the American people have had enough of ‘Business as Usual’ from the corporate and industrial entities, which buy the votes in Washington. We saw the beginning of this from the former Presidente of Mexico Vicente Fox and now the new Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto who is storming around, giving interviews and calling Trump Hitler, which shows to me their seriously worried about Trump reaching the Oval office and eroding their wealth of bribes and corruption offered to them by political partiers and the mega corporate manufacturing base.

    It doesn’t take the proverbial rocket scientist to apprehend that the Hierarchy in the Republican Party had allowed the development of the (NAFTA) treaty with jobs and parts of our industrial base shrinking and ending up in Mexico, especially the auto industry. However, the disintegration of our laws are still going on with the latest move of Carrier, moving out; Ford is building 2 Billion and joining its other plants across our border. King Obama has bypassed Congress since his coronation to press open borders for foreign nationals and unlawful practices in allowing more illegal aliens into our country, without prosecution or deportation.

    You don’t have to look that far to understand that there is sewer in Washington where corruption ferments as the Politicians sell the American people out to the highest bidder. To win a seat in Congress you really have no choice, but to sell your soul to a lobbyist, who is the wing man to some unknown wealthy donor who always want something in return for claiming a space in Washington–and that’s stealing American citizens vote. The Republican establishment has committed their own suicide, by playing along with Omnibus budget, allowing the Obama to fund all his objectives. Now with Obamas access to incomprehensible $2.2 trillion Mother Lode funds, which will pay for importation into the country unknown Syrian Refugees and the continued, pandering to illegal aliens. Lawmakers should have started impeachment on this rogue president in his first term, when they had a chance prior to given out freebies to anybody who ask for them–including illegal aliens.

    Why in the first place do you think we have had these massive surges in family units, unaccompanied children, and also criminals from the opposite side of the border? Obama signaled the world that if you could reach the United States, you wouldn’t be sent back.

  7. Dave Francis says:

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said Obama’s executive amnesty “is a direct attack on the Congress’s Article I powers under the Constitution,” and noted that “the president is not permitted to write law. Only Congress has that right. The House had made that very clear, but Obama degreed it was his right?” During a March hearing Agent Cabrera highlighted that his fellow agents were being punished for reporting illegal alien groups of more than 20. Brandon Judd head of the US Border Patrol union argued that persons entering the country illegally have realize that they can simply claim they entered the country at some time before 2014 and that they have no serious criminal convictions and they will be released. He said they do not even have to offer any proof, or present themselves to a judge for a determination. Annually we are being invaded by millions of illegal aliens and this moron of a President has just ordered the Border Patrol to let them go.

    The National Immigration center (NIC) says we now have at least 15 million plus illegal aliens in the country, and a rising cost since 2013 originally $$138 Billion dollars. Only chance we have to stop this travesty, is voting for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton will carry on Obamas illegal executive orders, if she happens to win the White House. On the Republican side others than Trump, have to sacrifice the little integrity they have, to do the bidding of the US Chamber of Commerce who have used their influence and Super PAC’s cash to lure the legislators votes to bring as much cheap labor as allowed, and a lax cap on growing number of H1-B visa permits to steal jobs from current American workers.

    Sen. Marco Rubio has been trying to defend his not accepted effort to expand the controversial H-1B outsourcing program by claiming that he wants to protect American professionals from being replaced by low-wage foreign professionals. But Rubio’s claim is “an outright fabrication,” said Howard University’s Ron Hira, an expert on the H-1B outsourcing program. Rubio “has not included any such limiting proposal in any bill, even though he had ample opportunity to do so.” furthermore, Rubio’s claim that there is a 90-day advertising period is also false. Each foreign professional can remain up to six years, so Rubio’s annual inflow of 195,000 H-1Bs would allow Americans companies to hire roughly 1.2 million foreign professionals in place of American professionals.

    Cruz: He wants you to forget he was born in Canada. Cruz, while Cruz’s father fought alongside Castro before fleeing Cuba, yet his elder Cruz’s sister fought against the Communist regime. Roy Beck, founder and executive director of NumbersUSA, http;// spoke to The Daily Caller Tuesday about the differences between the two candidates Trump and Cruz and how he feels both will return America to policies that benefit the citizen worker. For instance Cruz is not going to build a massive wall of 1000 miles, as he is only talking about fencing, which for all intents and purposes doesn’t work. The drug cartels have used huge ramps, to drive their trucks across and he has not mentioned distances. Cruz is a liar, a cheat as we have seen with the nasty trick he played on Ben Carson, pressing voters with Robo-calls and playing the difference between honesty and illegal, and it seems to be fully in cooperation with the Republican class. Don’t be fooled by Ted Cruz as he can be purchased buy the Special interests, but they have nothing that can buy Donald Trump?

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Dave Francis: Under Obama the number of illegal immigrants in the US has gone from about 12 million to 11 million. That’s right. DOWN a million. So WTF are you talking about?

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Dave Francis: Dearie, the reason we’re throwing derogatory words at Donald Trump is that he is a thin-skinned narcissistic blowhard who is very easy to manipulate.

    But you don’t have to believe me. Just wait until your precious Donald gets elected and then gets led around on a dog leash by the Russians and the Chinese.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave Francis:

    Now with Obamas access to incomprehensible $2.2 trillion Mother Lode funds, which will pay for importation into the country unknown Syrian Refugees and the continued, pandering to illegal aliens. Lawmakers should have started impeachment on this rogue president in his first term, when they had a chance prior to given out freebies to anybody who ask for them–including illegal aliens.

    Your Black Helicopter has arrived, please greet it.

  11. Tyrell says:

    This news just in: Iran tests another missile, threatens to hit Israel ! Secretary Kerry needs to do something ! Let’s see; in the last few months Iran has fired these missiles, threatened the US and Israel, insulted the president, and roughed up our Navy sailors ! This after our leaders signed
    this agreement and gave them billions of dollars ! It is evident that the leaders of Iran have no respect for the US and regard our leaders as weak ! Secretary Kerry needs to get show some toughness !

    “Payback time !” (Jesse Ventura, “Predator”)

  12. stonetools says:

    Francis illustrates the problem of why Trump is a success: the Foxification of the conservative base. Francis will simply discount what gVOR08 said , as he has really gotten his “truth” from Alex Jones, Brietbart, Fox or wherever . Trump is simply exploiting a base that has been taught to disregard objective reality in place of right wing propaganda. It’s not just the base , either. Read this:

    It’s just a strange coincidence, West Virginia pols say.

    State lawmakers passed a bill allowing people to drink raw milk — then became sick after consuming some.

    Legislators and Capitol staffers in Charleston drank the raw milk to celebrate a law that loosened restrictions on the product. State health officials are looking into whether the milk was to blame for people getting sick and are weighing allegations the raw-milk party broke the law.

    Delegate Scott Cadle, who stayed home sick on Monday, said the culprit is actually an unrelated stomach virus circulating the Capitol. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

    “There’s nobody up there that got sick off that milk,” Cadle told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “It’s just bad timing, I guess.”

    Delegate Pat McGeehan told WSAZ that he drank some of the milk, and conducted the interview while he was lying down and in some discomfort.

    Cadle “caught me in the hallway, offered a cup to me, and you want to try to be a gentleman,” the ailing McGeehan told the station. “I had a small sip and walked away and tossed the rest of it.”

    McGeehan added that “I highly doubt raw milk had anything to do with it, in my case.”

    Why, it’s almost as if the bacteria don’t care about conservative lawmakers’s denial of science and trust that deregulation is always right. Their denial just goes with the territory.

  13. Pch101 says:


    The internet encourages the nutjobs by providing them places to share bad ideas and to find each other.

    In the old days, a rambling letter to the editor would have ended up in the round file. Now, it gets circulated online to a wider audience, providing affirmation for the idiot who wrote it and others like him, which in turn leads to more of that kind of nonsense being produced.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: Well, it really does depend on the timing–if you take a swig of raw milk and then get sick within 20 minutes, I don’t think it would be due to a bug in the milk. It sounds like you’re possibly allergic to something else in the milk. But if 5 people drink raw milk and 5 people get sick, um, yeah, there’s a pretty strong correlation.

    Actually, I thought the main reason we were against raw milk was because it’s a great medium for tuberculosis.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    Reading this article, I’m starting to wonder if what Donald Trump is doing isn’t a political equivalent of Nigerian spam mail. You know, where the writers of the spam mail put in errors and misspellings to weed out the non-gullible?

    That’s what Trump’s incessant litany of lies is–he’s grabbing up the section of the American population that is too dumb, or too desperate, to look for warning signs.

    The problem is–the dumb section of the population can always be conned with an excuse as to why you haven’t delivered. The desperate? They’ll will come after you with the white-hot rage of a million burning suns.

    Trump hasn’t had to deal with many of the latter up to now. He may be in for a very big surprise.

  16. Thomas Weaver says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Oh, but we already on the leash…You fools/folks miss the realism of yesterday & today’s government: Darn near all the promises made by any of the POLITICIANS have vaporized into pain and suffering for the masses. No matter how the leader of the pack appears, he is not a politician – he does not use scripted/canned speeches with the flowery phrases; now, he may mess up. In fact, we are sure that he will mess something up – but he is not a politician and he will get something right. Despite all the derogatory comments, we are going to give him a try. The establishment has had their opportunity and they have flubbed it badly.
    That old adage seems particularly appro: Baby diapers and politicians need to be changed frequently.

  17. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Thomas Weaver: ah, so you’re in the “I’m so desperate, I’m an easy mark.”

    Were you one of those who went to Trump “University”?

    Read the article I linked above. If, after that, you believe anything that Donald Trump is telling you…

    Well, I guess we’ll always have gullible marks for the cons to prey upon. If you want to Stick-it-to-the-Establishment, why don’t you at least vote for someone with integrity, who will try to deliver what he has promised? Why don’t you support Bernie Sanders?

  18. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Based on what I’ve read, I’d say a fair number are hoping for the conflagration.

  19. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: Indeed. Reading the comment section of Breitbart reminds me of listening to aging ‘New Left’ friends as we grew through our 30s without book contracts or regular work. They’re ‘heightening the contradictions’.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Thomas Weaver:

    Despite all the derogatory comments, we are going to give him a try.

    Give Trump a try? As H.L. Mencken wrote, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

  21. Neil Hudelson says:

    Somewhat OT:

    If you are using Chrome as your web browser, install the “Trumpweb” browser add-on. It makes everything so, so much better.


  22. JustShootMeNow says:

    @grumpy realist: The first time I was old enough to vote I voted for Ronald Reagan and again in his second term. Since he left office I have been disappointed, let down, ignored, condescended to, ignored, lied to, and ignored again by EVERY republican I’ve supported since. I’m done. Nobody from any party running in 2016 deserves to be POTUS. However, I can do something about the GOP this time and I say BURN BABY BURN!

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @JustShootMeNow: So you vote for Republicans, they ignore you, and therefore it’s both parties’ fault?

    Interesting extrapolation.

  24. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    So you vote for Republicans, they ignore you, and therefore it’s both parties’ fault?

    Yeah, but the Republicans who disappointed him, lied to him, let him down, condescended to him, and ignored him said not to. So he doesn’t.