Poll: Trump takes Florida

An Opinion Savvy poll of 590 registered likely Republican primary voters shows Donald Trump with nearly a twenty point lead over his closest opponent, Marco Rubio. The poll also has Ted Cruz within striking distance of Rubio for second place.

The survey was conducted by IVR phone calls to landlines as well as surveying handheld mobile devices. The survey is weighted for age, gender, race, evangelism, and region. It has a margin of error of +/- 4% and a 95% confidence level. Here are the results:

  • Trump: 43%
  • Rubio: 24%
  • Cruz: 21%
  • Kasich: 10%
  • Undecided: 2%

Analysis by FOX 5 Political Analyst Matt Towery, pollster and analyst for the FOX affiliates:

“With nearly one million votes cast in early voting, Donald Trump would appear, based on the work of Opinion Savvy, to be the heavy favorite to win all of Florida’s delegates in next Tuesday’s vote. Trump leads in every region of the state, even in the southeastern area of the state where Rubio started his political career, but there his lead is less substantial than in other areas of the state. Trump performs better with men than women (47%-to-39%) but leads among both. Trump is carrying every age group. Among those age 30-40 he receives over 50% support and among senior voters he is at 45%. About 45% of respondents describe themselves as evangelical Christians. And as has been the case in the past, Trump leads Ted Cruz among those voters 45%-to-25%. Among early voters 47% say they voted for Donald Trump.

Opinion Savvy polled the race this past Sunday for internal purposes and at that time Trump’s lead was 14 points. Having the unique honor of having polled both for the Trial Lawyers in Florida and later for the Florida Chamber of Commerce when I was actively polling, I have a few quick thoughts on why Trump is expanding his lead. First, his victories last Tuesday gave him additional momentum. Second, the decision by Mitt Romney to actively campaign by recorded message in Florida had an unexpected negative reaction. Florida voters don’t mind an endorsement from leaders within their own state. Sometimes those endorsements help a candidate and sometimes they fall flat. But voters here often react negatively to politicians outside of the state who appear to be telling them how to vote.

Finally, a word of caution. This Opinion Savvy poll appears ahead of the debate tonight in Miami. If Trump somehow stumbles badly, his numbers could start to tumble. Even if that should occur, with a substantial portion of the total votes already in via early voting, the concept that Trump could go from leading by 19% to losing would be highly problematic. Still, the debate could impact the final polling numbers next week.”

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