Republican Jeb Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton are the top choices of their parties to run for president in 2016 among Florida voters and are nearly tied head-to-head, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
The poll also showed President Barack Obama’s approval rating sinking to match its lowest ever in a Florida Quinnipiac poll. Respondents disapproved of his performance in office by 57-40 percent, equalling his 57-39 percent disapproval in a poll Sept. 22, 2011.
Respondents also opposed the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, by 54-39 percent.
Approval and disapproval of both the ACA and Obama’s performance broke sharply along with partisan lines, with self-identified Republicans disapproving and self-identified Democrats more likely to approve, pollsters noted.
In the presidential matchups, no other Democrat comes close to Clinton among Florida Democrats: 70 percent of Democrats chose her, followed by 9 percent for Vice President Joe Biden. No other candidate got more than 4 percent.
Sen. Marco Rubio came close to Bush among Republicans. Bush led with 22 percent, then Rubio at 18 percent, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie at 14 percent and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 12 percent. Twelve percent were undecided, and no other candidate had more than 9 percent.
In a hypothetical general election matchup, Clinton topped all the Republicans among Florida voters, but Bush came within two points, 45 percent to Clinton’s 47 percent.
Clinton beat Christie 45-41 percent, Rubio 50-43 percent, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky 51-41 percent, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin 50-42 percent and Cruz 52-36 percent.
Clinton’s winning margin in the presidential matchup in Florida has narrowed substantially over the past seven months.
In the same poll in March, she led Bush 51-40 percent and Rubio 52-41 percent.
Clinton also led candidates of both parties when respondents were asked whether the candidate “would make a good president,” with 56 percent saying yes and 39 percent no. Bush split with 46 percent yes and 44 percent no, and all other candidates got negative scores, including Rubio at 39 percent yes and 47 percent no.
The Nov. 12-17 poll surveyed 1,646 registered voters for an error margin of 2.4 percentage points. Error margins are larger for questions that included only Republicans or only Democrats.