Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starts the 2016 presidential election as a heavy favorite to win the Florida Democratic primary, a new poll shows.
Quinnipiac University released a poll of Florida Democrats on Thursday which shows Clinton in firm control over her primary rivals in the Sunshine State. She takes 65 percent of Florida Democrats while Vice President Joe Biden is her nearest rival with 11 percent.
Even more impressive, Florida Democrats overwhelmingly see Clinton as favorable. The poll shows 87 percent of them see Clinton in a favorable light while only 10 percent see her as unfavorable.
Despite that, almost half of Florida Democrats -- 49 percent -- think Clinton should face a primary. Less than a third of those surveyed -- 32 percent -- want Clinton to run unopposed.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has said she will not run if Clinton does, takes 7 percent. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pulls 3 percent followed by former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., with 2 percent. Former Gov. Martin OMalley, D-Md., takes less than 1 percent.
When Clinton is taken out of the mix, Biden is the chief beneficiary. In that scenario, Biden leads with 42 percent while Warren moves up to 19 percent. Sanders takes 6 percent while Webb pulls 3 percent. OMalley still trails, this time with 1 percent.
Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said Clinton is running stronger in Florida than two other swing states his group looked at on Thursday.
"Hillary Clinton does better among Florida Democrats than she does in Ohio and Pennsylvania," Brown said. "Whatever the reason, with an 87 percent favorable rating from Sunshine State Democrats, she has an enormous lead among members of her own party."
The poll of 344 Florida Democrats was taken from from March 17-28 and had a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent.
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