Poll: Hillary Clinton would beat Jeb Bush in Florida

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, is maintaining a significant lead over the man who succeeded him, Gov. Rick Scott.

By Frances Burns
Charlie Crist, Jr., former governor of Florida, speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention after switching parties. (UPI/Kevin Dietsch)
Charlie Crist, Jr., former governor of Florida, speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention after switching parties. (UPI/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

HAMDEN, Conn., May 1 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton is running 8 percentage points ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his home state, the Quinnipiac Poll said Thursday.

Another former Florida governor, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, would beat Gov. Rick Scott by 10 points if the election were held now. Quinnipiac said that a big reason appears to be that Florida voters, by 15 points, say Crist is more compassionate than Scott.


Among Democrats, Clinton has huge leads over Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Bush beats a big field of potential Republican contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, getting 27 percent of the Republicans compared to 14 percent for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and 11 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The poll found that Clinton's advantage over Bush is 49-41. With the rest of the potential Republican field she was the choice of more than half of respondents, leading Rubio 52-40 and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 52-34.


A January Quinnipiac Poll found Crist leading Scott 46-38, a lead that has edged up to 48-38. More than half, 53 percent of respondents, said Scott does not deserve another term in office.

"So far, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's television barrage apparently has had no impact on the race. The incumbent has not been able to reduce former Gov. Charlie Crist's lead. In fact, voters see Crist's party switch in a positive light and the incumbent's effort to tie Crist's support for Obamacare has not yet borne fruit," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn.

Just over half, 52 percent, said Crist did a good job when he was governor, compared to 42 percent who say Scott is doing well.

Crist was governor from 2007 to 2011. He left the Republican Party after Rubio challenged him for the U.S. Senate nomination and polls showed he would lose the primary, but won 30 percent of the vote as an independent in a three-way race in November 2010. Crist joined the Democrats two years later.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,413 registered voters in Florida between April 23 and April 28. The poll has a margin of error of 2.6 points for the entire sample and 4.4 points among the partisan groups.


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