Clinton Leads Jeb Bush in Hypothetical 2016 Fla. Race: Poll

The former secretary of state leads the popular former Florida governor by two points in the state, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows.

By Edward B. Colby
|  Friday, Nov 22, 2013  |  Updated 6:24 PM CDT
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Election Day 2012 in South Florida

Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton (Photo composite from Getty Images)

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Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has a narrow 2-point edge over former Florida governor Jeb Bush in a hypothetical 2016 presidential election matchup in the Sunshine State, a new Quinnipiac University poll says.

In a head-to-head contest, the Democrat gets the support of 47 percent of Florida voters while the Republican receives 45 percent, the poll out Friday shows.

The poll also reveals that the two politicians are the early leaders in their parties’ potential presidential primaries in Florida – with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio lagging behind them.

Bush, a former two-term governor, has 22 percent support in a hypothetical Republican Party primary, topping Rubio with 18 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 14 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 12 percent. No other candidate was in double figures.

Clinton enjoys a large theoretical lead on the Democratic side, with 70 percent of Florida voters supporting her, compared to just 9 percent who are backing Vice President Joe Biden.

Head to head, Clinton would beat Rubio 50 percent-43 percent. She would also defeat Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 51 percent-41 percent, Wisconsin Congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan 50 percent-42 percent, and Cruz 52 percent-36 percent.

Clinton, who finished second to President Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential race, received the best score of any candidate when Florida voters were asked who would make a good president, the poll showed. Fifty-six percent of respondents said she would make a good president, and 39 percent said she would not.

Christie received a favorable 45 percent-35 percent review on that score, while voters were split on Bush at 46 percent-44 percent. Rubio had a negative score, with 39 percent saying he would make a good president, and 47 percent saying he would not.

“It’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton is well thought of by Florida voters, but when asked whether she would be a good president, more voters say yes than say they will vote for her," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a news release.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,648 registered voters from Nov. 12-17, and the poll had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

Just a year after Obama narrowly beat Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Florida, a large majority of the state’s voters disapprove of the job the Democratic incumbent is doing, the poll found.

Fifty-seven percent of voters said they disapprove of the job Obama is doing, with only 40 percent approving. That tied his worst disapproval rating in Florida, from a Sept. 22, 2011 poll when 57 percent said they did not approve of the job he was doing, and just 39 percent said they did.

Nearly all Republicans disapproved of Obama’s job performance, while an overwhelming number of Democrats still support him.

Florida voters oppose the Affordable Care Act by 54 percent-39 percent, with partisan numbers roughly matching Obama’s approval rating, the poll found.

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