The latest Quinnipiac poll of Florida Republicans shows that Donald Trump is now leading that state with 44 percent of the vote, while home state Senator Marco Rubio is in second with only 28 percent. Ted Cruz is now in third place with 12 percent.
Trump is now 16 points ahead of Rubio after former Florida governor Jeb Bush dropped out of the race, an astonishing result in an important winner-take-all state that votes on March 15. Rubio yesterday pointed to Florida as a state he expected to win.
But Rubio has gained ground against Cruz, as it appears that Texas Senator is losing traction in the state as Trump continues to rise.
In January, a CBS/YouGov tracking poll of Florida showed Cruz four points ahead of Rubio with Trump still leading. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Rubio now leads Cruz by 16 points.
The poll shows that Trump leads among Tea Party voters in Florida by 52 percent — a huge margin of 24 points over Ted Cruz who only earned 28 percent.
Among Evangelicals, Trump leads with 42 percent of the vote, followed by Rubio at 28 percent. Cruz only garners 19 percent of evangelicals in Florida.
When asked which candidate that voters would “definitely not support,” the majority (26 percent) chose Ted Cruz followed by Trump (21 percent) and Rubio at 17 percent.
The poll defies the media narrative that Trump has a “ceiling” of support in Florida, as it shows voters breaking his way after three dominant victories in early states.
The telephone survey was conducted from February 21 – 24 of 705 likely Florida Republican primary voters. It has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.7 percentage points.