Hillary Clinton Still Leads Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in Florida, but Not by Much

With Election Day a mere 17 months away, it looks like Hillary Clinton still holds an edge over Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in their own home state, though the gap looks like it has closed a bit in the last couple of years or so.

According to a new  Quinnipiac Poll, Clinton leads Rubio and Bush by the slightest of margins in Florida, with Rubio being a bigger threat.

The poll, which surveyed swing states Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, has the former first lady and secretary of state leading Rubio 47 percent to 44. Meanwhile, Clinton leads Bush 46 to 42. 

This is a much thinner margin than back in 2013, when serious talk began of the three candidates making a run for the White House in 2016. In that survey, Quinnipiac showed Hillary taking a 52 to 14 lead against Rubio. In that poll, Bush did better than Rubio, though he still was down to Clinton in a head-to-head contest Bush, 51 to 40.

Of course, these polls are always in flux. 

Back in March of this year, Quinnipiac released the results of a Florida poll that had Bush leading Clinton 45 to 42.

Yet when it comes down to Hillary against the field, the poll suggests it's going to be either Rubio or Bush that'll give Clinton the greater challenge. Against the rest of the GOP field, Clinton cleans up, beating New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 46-35; U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky 46-39 percent; Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 49- percent; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 48- percent; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 48-37 percent; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich 48-35 percent.

Still, the Qunnipiac Poll does point out that the one thing that seems to be hurting Clinton is her "trustworthiness."

Of the Florida voters surveyed, 51 percent said they don't find her trustworthy, while her favorability ratings are a narrow 47-45.

"Perhaps more troubling for her than the continuing slide is how she is perceived by voters who continue to say she is not honest and trustworthy," assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll Peter A. Brown says via the survey. "But potentially more disturbing for her are low marks for caring about voter needs and problems. This is where Democrats almost always fare better than Republicans. Yet in this survey, many Republican candidates do as well or better than she does."

The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, shrugged off the numbers, saying that polls like this one should be "taken with a grain of salt." 

Former President Bill Clinton defended Hillary's trustworthiness, telling CNN, "I think that anybody who is still really close to their best friend from grade schools is by definition trustworthy. The people who know, know that."

Still, as it stands, Hillary Clinton still comes out on top against the two candidates from Florida, particularly with the women's vote.

"Secretary Clinton continues to outpoll most major Republican wannabes in the Sunshine State," Brown said. "She holds her own when matched against the GOP's two native sons, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. The margin stems from her ability to keep the gender gap running in her favor. She holds low double digit leads among women when matched against either man and that is enough to make the difference."

Quinnipiac Swing States by Chris Joseph

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph