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Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush in Dead Heat in Florida: Poll

Image: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush in Dead Heat in Florida: Poll
(Ron Sachs/DPA/Landov; Molly Riley/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 17 Apr 2015 08:20 AM

Sen. Marco Rubio and his former mentor, Jeb Bush, are essentially tied in their home state of Florida, according to a new poll taken just after the senator's presidential campaign announcement Monday in Miami.

A Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey of 400 registered Republican Florida voters gave Rubio the slight nod, with 31 percent, compared to 30 percent for Bush, the state's former governor, reports Politico.

Both came out far ahead of other competitors, who polled in single digits. However, 17 percent of the voters remain undecided in the 2016 primary race.

"I think Rubio's rollout was pretty good and he probably got a bump out of it," Mason-Dixon pollster J. Bradford Coker said. "A good rollout is like a primary win: You get about three days of good media coverage and a little lift in the polls."

The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, and is the first showing Rubio and Bush running closely together, indicating Bush may not be as strong in his home state as expected.

Some top Bush advocates said, following Rubio's announcement at Miami's iconic Freedom Tower on Monday, that the younger man could give his former mentor some problems.

"Not only was the stagecraft right, but so was the tone of the speech," said a key Bush backer. "I love Jeb more than anything, but Rubio has the same ideas and he's a better messenger with a better story."

Rubio also dominated the airwaves through key media interviews after his announcement, which Coker said likely also gave Rubio a boost. But, he added, he was likely only making an informed guess as Mason-Dixon has not had a recent GOP primary poll.

The poll showed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 8 percent; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 7 percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 2 percent. The other potential candidates weren't included in the survey, but respondents had the opportunity to check an "other" box.

But Rubio was polling much lower than Bush in a Quinnipiac University poll released April 2, before his campaign announcement. That Florida poll put Bush at 24 percent, Walker at 15, and Rubio at 12.

The Quinnipiac poll also put Democrat Hillary Clinton, who also had not yet announced her candidacy, behind Bush by 45-42 percent. In the Mason-Dixon Poll, Rubio was behind Clinton by 46-44 percent, marking an eight-point improvement compared to a Quinnipiac poll released on Feb. 3.

Coker, though, said Bush may have problems outside of Florida because voters associate him with his older brother, former President George W. Bush.

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Sen. Marco Rubio and his former mentor, Jeb Bush, are essentially tied in their home state of Florida, according to a new poll taken just after the senator's presidential campaign announcement Monday in Miami.
marco rubio, jeb bush, florida, poll, tied
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2015-20-17
Friday, 17 Apr 2015 08:20 AM
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