Two polls released this month have now found that Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio is the early favorite for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
The Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling released a survey earlier this month finding Rubio leads among GOP primary voters with 18 percent:
- Marco Rubio – 18%
- Chris Christie – 14%
- Paul Ryan – 12%
- Jeb Bush – 12%
- Mike Huckabee – 11%
- Condoleezza Rice – 8%
- Sarah Palin – 7%
- Rand Paul – 7%
- Rick Santorum – 4%.
According to PPP, Rubio leads because of his strength with the most conservative wing of the party:
Among “very conservative” voters he’s at 23% to 17% for Paul Ryan and 13% for Mike Huckabee. He also had the advantage with folks describing themselves as ‘somewhat conservative’ at 22% to 14% for Chris Christie and 13% for Jeb Bush. Christie has a big lead with moderates at 35% to 20% for Bush and 11% for Huckabee with Rubio all the way back at 5%. But there just aren’t that many moderates left in the Republican Party.
PPP notes that while Christie’s sucking up to President Obama after Hurricane Sandy doesn’t seem to have hurt him with Republicans in New Jersey, but it has caused some irritation with him outside the state. His favorability with folks describing themselves as ‘very conservative’ is only 42/31, with every other group it’s over 60%. Christie isn’t going to be able to get the 2016 Republican nomination unless he figures out someway to make amends to the Conservative Republican base for his dealing with Obama during the last days of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Last week Harper Polling released a poll that also found Rubio leading:
- Marco Rubio – 34%
- Chris Christie – 18%
- Condi Rice – 14%
- Rand Paul – 8%
- Allen West – 5%
- Scott Brown – 3%
- Undecided – 18%
According to Harper, Rubio is strongest in the South and West:
In the Northeast, he and Christie run vhttp://rootshed.com/node/56340126/editirtually tied at 29-27%. The Midwest may ultimately be the harder nut to crack for Rubio. His working class background may be his strongest connection to the industrial Midwest.
The TEA party movement has always been the foundation of Rubio’s support. Harper reports Rubio is favored by 43% of the TEA Party.
Like PPP, Harper found Christie’s supporters to be more moderate.
Even though it is way to early for presidential polls to mean much, the 2016 presidential campaign is underway. Rubio was in Iowa headlining a birthday fundraiser for Governor Terry Branstad before the 2012 election was in the books two weeks.