Tags: Trump Administration | America's Forum | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | Mitt Romney | Marco Rubio

John Zogby: Rubio, Tied With Bush in Polls, Smart to Move on 2016

By Melissa Clyne and Newsmax Wires   |   Friday, 23 Jan 2015 10:12 AM

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio couldn’t have planned better timing for the announcement that he is preparing to seek the White House in 2016, news that hit at the same time a new poll shows Rubio taking a major leap in the polls, pollster John Zogby said Friday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

"It's huge and it's right at the moment where he's declaring that he's forming an exploratory committee," Zogby said. "He can't get a better one-two punch kickoff than that.

Editor's Note: Rise of the Hispanic GOP? Marco Rubio’s Book Shows How Hispanics Embrace Conservatism

"Last month, he was at 6 percent and now he's at 13 percent, but it also puts him in the top tier with two very big names: Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. It means he's a player, at least for now."

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A senior Rubio adviser told ABC News that the senator informed his staff to proceed as if he is going to run. Rubio is reportedly organizing a fundraiser and planning trips to early voting states.

Rubio has chosen Anna Rogers, the finance director for conservative group American Crossroads founded by former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, to lead his fundraising effort, the adviser told Reuters in an email.

"We hired Rogers, will fund-raise in California next week and visit early states next month," the adviser said, requesting anonymity.

Rogers will start work on Rubio's political action committee on Feb. 1 and become the finance director of his presidential campaign, the adviser said.

At 13 percent, Zogby’s latest poll puts Rubio in a dead heat with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney leads the pack at 16 percent, but having a newbie like Rubio in striking distance of two established names is huge.

Editor's Note: Rise of the Hispanic GOP? Marco Rubio’s Book Shows How Hispanics Embrace Conservatism

"The former nominee at 16 percent and the scion of the GOP family, Jeb Bush, at 13 percent and little Marco Rubio at 13 percent right now, that's got to give you some pause," Zogby said. "Those are not good numbers for the two best known names in the party."

Forbes reports that the latest Zogby poll also shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 11 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 9 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 6 percent, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 4 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz all at 3 percent.

Paul, a favorite of the tea party with a reputation as a "fighting outsider, libertarian and noncompromising guy," dropped from 10 percent to 3 percent in a month.

The change may be attributed to his changing message, according to Zogby, such as "gratuitously sponsoring a piece of legislation to cut off aid to the Palestinian authority not so much because of that issue in it of itself, but the very fact that it doesn't represent where he and his father [former Texas Sen. Ron Paul] have been."

"He's taken different stances and looking like just a garden-variety political candidate," said Zogby.

Rubio will make a fundraising trip through California next week and scheduled a book tour that will include stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, his adviser said.

Rubio is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Florida does not allow candidates to run concurrent congressional and presidential campaigns.

The 43-year-old Rubio, who served in the Florida Legislature while Bush was governor, would compete with many of the same donors in their home state.

In an appearance Wednesday after the State of the Union address, Rubio said Bush, with whom he is close, is a "very credible candidate" who could raise the amount of money necessary to run a presidential campaign.

But he also said the foreign policy experience he gained in the Senate would set him apart from the current and former governors making a White House bid.

Rubio was a fierce critic of President Barack Obama's move last month to normalize relations with Cuba.

Editor's Note: Rise of the Hispanic GOP? Marco Rubio’s Book Shows How Hispanics Embrace Conservatism

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio couldn’t have planned a better time for the announcement that he is preparing to seek the White House in 2016, because the latest Zogby poll "puts him in the top tier with two very big names: Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush," pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax TV.
Marco Rubio, jeb bush, mitt romney, polls, 2016, presidency
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2015-12-23
 

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