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Trump Up in Florida Poll; Hillary Still Statewide Favorite

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Donald Trump is surging in the polls, despite the waves of condemnation from his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

The latest poll from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute shows the real estate billionaire is now favored by 30 percent of likely Republican voters in the state. That's up 4 points from October. Sen. Marco Rubio is the choice of 15 percent - down 6.5 points since October. Former Gov. Jeb Bush slipped to 14 percent, down slightly since the last poll. So did Ben Carson, down to 11 percent from nearly 15 percent in October. And coming in fifth, Ted Cruz, with just over 10 percent.

On the Democratic side, nearly 60 percent back Hillary Clinton, up 10 points from October. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont gathered 27 percent - up significantly from the 13.3 percent he gathered in October.

Trump and Clinton were named as the best candidates on security issues, followed a distant third by Bush.

And in a potential presidential matchup, Hillary Clinton beat every single Republican candidate in Florida by at least seven percentage points.

Here's some results from the polling institute:

In all, the institute polled 531 Floridians from November 29 to December 3, 2015; a national survey of 1,007 adults was conducted in parallel during the same time frame. As the Saint Leo Polling Institute conducts surveys of this type quarterly, some results from December were worth comparing to responses gathered in a survey conducted from October 17 to October 22, 2015.   Two-Candidate Presidential Race Projections from Florida When all 404 likely voters in Florida were asked in the recent poll whom they would choose if they had to select between Hillary Clinton and each of the major GOP candidates, Clinton did better than each of the Republicans. Trump and Rubio were the closest contenders, with the margin of error for these responses at plus or minus 5 percentage points. In descending order on the GOP side, the two-way match-ups showed: Clinton, 48.9 percent, vs. Trump, 41.2 percent. Clinton, 48.9 percent, vs. Rubio, 41.2 percent. Clinton, 51.2 percent, vs. Carson, 39.1 percent. Clinton, 47.3 percent, vs. Bush, 37.9 percent. Clinton, 53 percent, vs. Cruz, 34.7 percent Clinton, 55.2 percent, vs. former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina, 29.7 percent. Nominations for Upcoming Senate Race in Florida Because current U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is running for president, his Florida seat is coming open in the 2016 election. Republican likely voters in Florida in the survey base (numbering 147) were asked which of several people they would support if the primary were held today to select their party’s Senate candidate in the general election. The margin of error for these responses is plus or minus 8 percent. The answers, in descending order were: Unsure, 56.5 percent David Jolly, 11.6 percent Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 8.2 percent Todd Wilcox, 6.8 percent (tying with “someone else”) Ron DeSantis, 6.1 percent Dr. Ilya Katz, 4.1 percentOn the Democratic side, a similar pattern emerged among the party’s likely voters. The Democratic likely voters in Florida numbered 160 and the margin of error on responses is plus or minus 7.5 percentage points. The answers, in descending order, were: Unsure, 46.9 percent Patrick Murphy, 16.9 percent Alan Grayson, 7.1 percent (essentially tying with “someone else’’ at 7.7 percent) Lateresa Jones, 6.3 percent Pam Keith, 4.4 percent


Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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