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Obama's Baggage Not Sinking Hillary Clinton in Florida

January 30, 2014 - 6:00pm

A new poll shows President Barack Obama is upside down in Florida, but former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starts off with the edge over Republican hopefuls in the Sunshine State for 2016.

Quinnipiac University released poll results Friday showing Obama has the approval of 42 percent of Florida voters while 53 percent disapprove of him. Obama also polled poorly in a November Q-Poll, which found 40 percent approved of him while 57 percent disapproved.

Despite her old bosss bad numbers, Clinton beats out possible Republican candidates in head-to-head match-ups, including two favorite sons of the Sunshine State. Former Gov. Jeb Bush does best against her, but is still 6 percent behind. Clinton beats U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., by 10 percent.

Said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute,"Among Florida favorite sons, former Governor Jeb Bush runs stronger than does Senator Marco Rubio, although GOP voters are widely split on their presidential choices."

Clinton does better against the other Republican hopefuls, beating U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., by 13 percent, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., by 15 percent, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey by 16 percent and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, by 20 percent.

Noting that Christie had polled much better against Clinton in early polls, Brown said traffic scandals are hurting the New Jersey governor in Florida.

"New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie isn't finding any sun in the Sunshine State" said Brown. "'Bridgegate' is having a negative effect on his presidential fortunes in Florida. Since Florida is the nation's largest swing state, and one of the early primary states, the numbers are not good news for the New Jersey governor as he tries to weather the storm from the controversy."

Bush leads the Republican pack in Florida with 25 percent, followed by Rubio with 16 percent. Paul takes third with 11 percent, followed by Cruz and Christie with 9 percent and Ryan with 5 percent. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana lags behind with 3 percent.

Clinton is routing the Democratic field in Florida with 64 percent and Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second with 9 percent. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., takes third with 5 percent, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Martin OMalley of Maryland and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., all take 1 percent apiece.

The poll of 1,565 registered Florida voters was taken Jan. 22-27 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. The sample of 586 Republicans had a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent. The sample of 529 Democrats had a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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