Quinnipiac: Rubio Leads Tight GOP Presidential Race

Image: Quinnipiac: Rubio Leads Tight GOP Presidential Race U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 09:12 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would win the Republican presidential nomination if the 2016 election were held today, but his margin of victory would be extremely narrow in a crowded GOP field, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey released today of 1,171 registered voters stacked Rubio up against seven other potential candidates and found that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would make a tight race.

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The poll conducted March 26 to April 1 found that Rubio was favored by 19 percent of Republican voters, compared to 17 percent for Ryan, 15 percent for Paul and 14 percent for Christie. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trailed with 10 percent support.

Following Bush are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (3 percent), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (2 percent), and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (1 percent).

"Three years before the nominating process, the Republicans have no clear favorite," said Peter Brown, assistant director at Quinnipiac. "Sen. Marco Rubio benefits from his exposure, giving the GOP response to the State of the Union, while Congressman Paul Ryan is known as the Republican vice presidential candidate."

Brown and his team also looked at the 2014 midterm elections, when Republicans aim to recapture the Senate and increase their majority in the House. The news was not good for the GOP.

The survey found that 43 percent of respondents would vote for the Democrat in their congressional district if the election were held today. Only 35 percent indicated they would vote Republican.

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