Polls Showing Marco Rubio Rising as Jeb Bush’s ‘Negatives’ Grow

Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP
Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

Several polls have now given Florida Senator Marco Rubio the edge in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, even above the recently-leading likely candidate and fellow Floridian Jeb Bush.

Two polls taken separately but concurrently found that the recently-announced senator has jumped ahead in the GOP field of all announced and likely candidates.

A Fox News poll, released on Thursday, found that Rubio realized a 5-point bump after his announcement, putting him slightly ahead of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker 13 to 12 percent.

Third in line was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 10 percent and then Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tied at 9 percent. Texas Senator Ted Cruz earned 8 percent.

Surgeon Ben Carson fell in the polls, going from 11 percent to only six percent where he tied with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was up two points since the last poll.

Carson, though, isn’t the only one who received bad news in this week’s Fox poll. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush received some hefty negatives in this survey.

“The Bush dynasty is seen as a negative while the Clinton dynasty is a positive,” Fox reported on Thursday. “By a 58-34 percent margin, voters say being related to previous presidents is a disadvantage for Jeb Bush, yet by a 52-39 percent margin they think it’s an advantage for Hillary Clinton.”

Despite that, Hillary was viewed as untrustworthy and dishonest by 51 percent of respondents, while all Republicans except Cruz were in positive territory for trustworthiness. And even Cuz was only down one percent. Rubio again came in with top ratings here with a plus 13.

A Quinnipiac poll also gave Rubio top marks this week. The poll, also released on Thursday, gave Rubio 15 percent support among the heavily populated GOP field.

In the Quinnipiac poll, Bush ranked second with 13 percent support while Scott Walker received 11 percent. No one in the rest of the field topped 9 percent.

Despite a second place finish, Jeb also ranked with heavy negatives in the Quinnipiac poll. Bush won the “no way” vote with 17 percent of respondents saying there is no way they would ever vote for him.

Like the Fox poll, this poll also found that Clinton is untrustworthy, with 54 percent holding the negative view. Rubio, on the other hand, was viewed favorably 35 to 25 percent.

Rubio seems to be favored by two major GOP influencers, too. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is reportedly very bullish on the young Florida senator as is former GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

In fact, it is likely that in his statement rejecting a third run for the White House himself, Romney was alluding to Rubio when he said that a new, younger leader would be “better able” to rally voters to the GOP message.

Romney said on January 30:

I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.

At the time, Senator Rubio was hinting about his possible run in 2016 and easily fits Romney’s description.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.