In the quadrennial battle over who the country detests the least, Republican candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is ever so slowly closing the gap between himself and GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, in his home state of Florida, hacking and slicing his way through the jungle of American politics like Michael Douglas on the trail of what he calls “a good campfire,” according to a Monmouth University poll, Monday. Rubio has steadily edged so close, he is now boasting being within single digits of the surprise, runaway candidate.
As it stands in the eyes of Momouth University, Trump only leads Rubio by 8 points—38 to 30—not bad considering Trump once led by double digits not long ago. That’s far better than the Public Policy Polling survey showing Trump holding a 20-point lead over his rivals only last month. Underlining the Public Policy result last month was also the One America News Network and Gravis Marketing poll, which also showed Trump flaunting a 20-point lead.
Like Kasich seeking a win in Ohio next week in order to secure his path to the White House, Rubio will need to establish a solid win in his home state of Florida in order to maintain a solid presence in the 2016 presidential race.
As the Hill points out, as well, a loss would “be a significant blow to Trump, given that Florida is a winner-take-all state awarding 99 delegates.”
Roughly a fifth of Florida’s voters have already forked over their ballots, and amongst them, Rubio proves to be the leader by a whopping 25 percentage points—48 to 23.
On the other hand, among the other four-fifths of Florida’s voters who have yet to cast their ballots, Trump reigns supreme with a 16-point spread at 42 percent to 26 percent.
When it comes to a straight-up vote between the two, the MU poll still shows Trump taking the state by 2 percentage points—47 over Rubio’s 45. Of course, with a 4.9 percent margin of error, the result of Florida’s primary remains to be seen. Rubio’s campaign has yet to say whether it will or will not stay in the race should Rubio lose Florida.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted March 3 through 6 via phone, polling 403 Florida voters planning on voting in the March 15 primary. Ninety-nine delegates are up for grabs.