Trump Leading Bush And Rubio In Florida?

A new poll out of Florida appears to show the Trump phenomenon knocking both of the Sunshine State’s best known Republicans out of the top spot:

For the first time this year, Donald Trump tops a state poll of GOP presidential candidates in Florida.

A St. Pete Polls survey released on Wednesday shows the New York businessman with 26 percent support, with Jeb Bush in second place with 20 percent.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in third place with 12 percent, and Marco Rubio is in fourth place with 10 percent. He’s followed by Dr. Ben Carson at 5 percent, Ted Cruz and John Kasich at 4 percent, and Rand Paul at 3 percent. Sixteen percent are unsure or are supporting another candidate not named in the survey.

This is only the second poll out of Florida since Trump entered the race. The first such poll, a Mason Dixon poll released last week, showed Bush in the lead with 28%, followed by Rubio at 16%, Walker at 13%, and Trump in fourth place at 11%. It’s possible, then, that this new poll is an outlier. At the same time, though, it is consistent with other statewide and national polling that puts Trump at the top of the field, so it shouldn’t be lightly dismissed.

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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. Mu says:

    You know there is a reason we have the “Florida” tag. And it’s not for Florida being filled with lots of Einsteins.

  2. Castanea says:

    Northern Florida: Southern Alabama.

    It is still safe to assume Trump doesn’t get it and that he won’t feel any support in the base for a third-party run*, but at this point his opponents will have to either figure out a way to go negative without alienating primary voters, or co-opting his rhetoric and angle in an effective way. Clinton isn’t doing great right now but this must be very reassuring to her. Her general election ads can just be parts of the GOP debate, with optional Spanish subtitles.

    *I am now imagining both Sanders and Trump running as independents while Clinton and Bush/Walker run as establishment candidates, and the game theory section of my brain started overheating.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Jeb Bush recently let it be known that he is interested in phasing out Medicare – it’s very hard to understand how that would negatively affect his polling in Florida.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    For a Democrat this Trump thing is hilarious. I think there’s a German word for the situation. Of course it’s all fun and games ’til someone pokes and eye out and Trump gets elected.

  5. mantis says:

    Florida Man Votes Trump

  6. Orl says:

    Jeb Bush has been relatively low key lately. I think his lack of response to Donald Trump’s attacks in Trump’s campaign stops has made him lose some poll interest. But I think that some poll voters don’t want another Bush for president. Having a familiar political brand name doesn’t help at all. Jeb kind of let Scott Walker and even front runner Trump take the lead last week and he needs to promote himself more even if his campaign has raised the most money over his GOP rivals.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    @mantis: That would be me after I change my registration (since we have ‘closed’ primaries here in the sunshine). Can’t let the hilarity stop for a minute if possible.

  8. JohnMcC says:

    FWIW, when you click through to the original poll data (from StPetePolls-dot-org, a division of Fextel — whoever that is) you discover that the poll was conducted by email. I think the chances that it is an outlier is pretty high.