Bad news for Marco Rubio. The latest Quinnipiac in Florida shows him getting crushed by Donald Trump:
— Gary Fineout (@fineout) February 25, 2016
The poll has Ted Cruz at 12% followed by John Kasich at 7% and Ben Carson at 4%.
The Donald Trump juggernaut rolls into Florida where the GOP front-runner leads native son Sen. Marco Rubio 44 – 28 percent among likely Republican primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has 12 percent with Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 7 percent and Dr. Ben Carson at 4 percent.
Men back Trump over Rubio 49 – 25 percent, while women go to Trump 39 – 31 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.
Trump gets a low negative score in the Sunshine State as 21 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump for the nomination, with 26 percent saying no to Cruz and 17 percent saying no to Rubio.
Five percent of Florida likely Republican primary voters are undecided and 30 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before the March 15 primary.
Strong leadership is the most important quality in a presidential nominee, 32 percent of Florida Republicans say, as 23 percent most want someone who is honest and trustworthy and 20 percent most want someone who shares their values.
“Florida is the single biggest prize of the primary season because it is the largest state to allocate its delegates on a winner-take-all basis. If Sen. Rubio can’t win in his own home state, it is difficult to see how he can win elsewhere,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“Florida election law makes this contest more uncertain than earlier primaries. Only registered Republicans may vote here, which raises the question of whether the flood of new voters Donald Trump seemed to bring to earlier contests will be able to participate in Florida.”
Poll methodology: “From February 21 – 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 705 Florida likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.”
Update. Rubio is up big when compared to past polls in Florida, but Trump’s lead remains strong:
Buried in that Q-poll: More Florida GOP say they’d never vote for Cruz than for Trump
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) February 25, 2016
Update 3. Rubio adviser Todd Harris weighs in:
Media needs to chill. The FL Q poll #'s are way wrong. We are going to win Florida. Period. Take it to the bank.
— Todd Harris (@dtoddharris) February 25, 2016
Editor’s note: This post was updated after publication.