The latest on the presidential horse race.

2016 Florida Primaries: Hillary Clinton Has Dominant Lead, Jeb Bush Has Slight Edge

Quinnipiac, 11/12-11/17


  • Clinton: 70, Biden: 9, Warren: 4, Cuomo: 2, Warner: 1, O’Malley: 1
  • Bush: 22, Rubio: 18, Christie: 14, Cruz: 12, Paul: 9, Ryan: 6, Jindal: 3, Walker: 2

Just as the national polls have consistently showed, a new Quinnipiac poll shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a dominant 61 point lead in the 2016 Florida Democratic Primary race. The same poll shows a very different picture in the Republican Primary race with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush holding a slight lead over Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the rest of the pack.

The Quinnipiac poll, taken between November 12 and 17 among 544 registered Florida voters, found that 70 percent of Florida Democrats would vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Florida Democratic Primary. Just 9 percent said they would vote for Joe Biden, down from 12 percent earlier this year. If Biden is a distant second place, the other candidates barely show. Freshman Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren drew 4 percent, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo drew 2 percent (down from five earlier this year), and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Virginia Senator Mark Warner both received 1 percent.

The Florida poll is almost a mirror image of the national polls we have seen in recent months. A number of polls have Clinton with around 65-70 percent while Joe Biden trails with around 10 percent. The other candidates are in low single-digits nationally as well.

On the Republican side, things are far more complicated and far more crowded. Florida clearly has a home field advantage for potential candidates. Among 668 registered Florida Republicans, Former Governor Jeb Bush leads the race with 22 percent of the vote, down from 30 percent earlier this year. Florida Senator Marco Rubio came in second with 18 percent of the vote, way down from 29 percent earlier this year. Chris Christie, who leads the pack nationally, received 14 percent support, far lower than he has seen in other states but an improvement on his 8 percent earlier this year. Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in fourth with 12 percent while Rand Paul, who is in a virtual tie with Christie nationally, placed a disappointing fifth with just 9 percent of the vote.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker also received 6 percent, 3 percent, and 2 percent, respectively.

While Hillary is the clear front-runner, a very important Florida primary could complicate things for pack-leaders Christie and Paul in their quest for the nomination. Clearly, if a homestate candidate runs in Florida, they are the likely winner of Florida’s 98 convention delegates. Christie is rising though, and has plenty of time reach Florida voters before 2016.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)