New Quinnipiac poll out today shows Donald Trump with a big lead in Florida, the home state of Marco Rubio, the GOP establishment’s last-ditch hope to stop Trump.
Trump is dominating the field with 44 percent. Rubio trails with 28 percent, followed by Ted Cruz with 12 percent, John Kasich with 7 percent, and Ben Carson with 4 percent.
The Rubio campaign is dismissing the media’s reaction to one poll and promising that they will win Florida (“take it to the bank,” said one key adviser), but the problem for Rubio is that this poll is not an outlier. Trump has been dominating polling in Florida for months; in fact, this poll the best showing we’ve yet seen from Rubio. It looks like Rubio has picked up a good chunk of the Bush voters…but he’s still nowhere close to Trump.
Florida votes on March 15, with 99 delegates at stake in the winner-take-all contest. Unless something changes rapidly in the next few weeks, Trump is going to go in as the heavy favorite. If he wins Florida, it’s probably over. Or at least over for Rubio.
More bad news for Rubio in the latest poll of Virginia, out today:
Donald Trump: 41
Marco Rubio: 27
Ted Cruz: 14
John Kasich: 7
Ben Carson: 7
(Hillary Clinton is beating Bernie Sanders 60-33 in the same poll of Virginia, another sign that she is likely to start running up the score this Tuesday.)