A Monmouth poll out of Florida released Monday shows that Donald Trump’s lead in Florida has shrunk to just +8 points. Taken between March 3 – 6, 38% of 403 likely Republican presidential primary voters chose Donald Trump. Florida Senator Marco Rubio earned 30%. Ted Cruz and John Kasich came in third and fourth with 17% and 10%, receptively.
Of those who have already voted, Rubio actually leads Trump 48% to 23%. Of those who have not yet voted, Trump leads 42% to 26%.
In a head-to-head match-up, Trump edges Rubio 47% to 45%.
Trump would beat Cruz in the Sunshine State 48% to 40%.
Although, Trump leads in this poll, there is good news for Rubio. First off, he has banked much of his vote in early voting. Secondly, the trend is with him. Just two weeks ago, albeit in different polls, Trump’s lead was +20 points. Finally, Trump has been losing late deciders in most of these states. One caveat, though, is that Florida voters already know Marco Rubio.
Best of all, Rubio has another week and one more debate ahead of him. That is forever in politics.
On Trump’s side is a substantial +8 point lead and the fact that 67% of his voters are locked in, compared to 55% for Rubio and 48% for Cruz.
There is also the Cruz Factor in Florida. The Texas Senator is enjoying a legitimate surge in popularity and that might translate to Florida (and take votes from Rubio). His super PAC is also running ads against Rubio and claims to be opening around ten offices.
In general, when you consider this poll (although it is only 1) along with the election results from this past weekend, Trump does appear to be taking on water. He has had a terrible 10 days, much of it self-inflicted. It all started when he flubbed a question about David Duke and ran straight through to a debate performance so terrible it might be remembered as a devastating turning point that occurred just when The Donald should have been sailing to the nomination.
Imagine how dull politics in this country would be without Florida.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC