Poll: Marco Rubio on GOP Ticket Would Win Florida, Unless Hillary Clinton Gets Involved

According to a poll released yesterday evening by Suffolk University, Florida voters like highly unlikely vice-presidential scenarios.

If Sen. Marco Rubio were to be the selection on the GOP ticket, pollsters say Republicans would carry Florida 46 percent to 41.

If Hillary Clinton were to replace Joe Biden as President Obama's running mate, Florida voters would opt to reelect Obama by a 50-41 margin.

That would be great for either party, except for the fact that both Rubio and Clinton vehemently deny they're interested in the spot.

First of all, the only president to dump his VP during a reelection bid was when Gerald Ford replaced Norman Rockefeller with Bob Dole. That didn't work out too well.

Second, Clinton has said joining Obama during his reelection bid is not "in the realm of possibility" and said it's "not a serious issue in the administration."

Still, that's the question the pollsters asked, and for some reason, they decided not to poll respondents about Biden returning on the ticket.

"Every extra percentage point advantage could mean major color changes on the electoral map, despite Hillary Clinton's repeated refusals," says David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University. "On the question of loyalty, Obama may have to grapple with his loyalty to his running mate, Joe Biden, versus his loyalty to the Democratic Party by fielding the strongest ticket possible."

Florida voters also had a more favorable view of Clinton than Obama by a 19-point margin.

Although Clinton adds the boost for Obama in Florida, Paleologos says Rubio would also help in Florida -- but also states with high Hispanic populations, like New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, and Nevada.

"In Florida, Marco Rubio is superman, but Hillary Clinton is the kryptonite," Paleologos says.

For the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney leads Herman Cain 25 percent to 24 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich at 11 percent, Rick Perry at 9 percent, Ron Paul at 5 percent, and Jon Huntsman at 2 percent.

Here's a little context from Suffolk about the results of their polls compared to the last presidential election:

In January 2008 Suffolk University forecast that John McCain would win Florida's Republican presidential primary by 3 points; McCain won by 5 points. In late October 2008, Suffolk University polling predicted a 5-point Barack Obama general election win. He won by 3 points on Election Day.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley