- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 11, 2014

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tops the field of possible 2016 GOP presidential candidates for Republicans in the Sunshine State, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida coming in third.

Mr. Bush is the preference of 34 percent of Republicans in the survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney second at 15 percent and Mr. Rubio third at 10 percent.

Dr. Ben Carson is next at 8 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 7 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 3 percent.

Forty-four percent of likely Florida voters say they would like to see Mr. Bush run for president in 2016 and 38 percent say they would not. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans say they’d like to see him run.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of likely voters say they would not like to see Mr. Rubio run, compared to 28 percent who say they would. Among Republicans, 42 percent would like to see him run and 32 percent would not.

Mr. Bush has a 57 percent/37 percent favorable/unfavorable split among all likely voters, and an 83 percent/11 percent split among Republicans.

Mr. Rubio has a 52 percent/39 percent split among likely voters, which rises to 79 percent/11 percent among Republicans.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton topped the list of possible 2016 Democratic contenders with 63 percent of the vote, followed by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at 8 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 6 percent.

Mr. Bush leads Mrs. Clinton in a head-to-head match-up, 43 percent to 42 percent, while Mr. Rubio trails her, 46 percent to 42 percent.

She leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 16 points, 50 percent to 34 percent, Mr. Christie by 8 points, 45 percent to 37 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by 23 points, 51 percent to 28 percent, and Mr. Romney by 7 points, 48 percent to 41 percent.

The survey of 420 likely voters was taken from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 and has a margin of error of approximately plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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