Poll: Hillary Clinton tops native sons Rubio, Bush in Florida

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as she leaves the State Department in Washington Feb. 1, 2013, for last time as America's top diplomat.
AP Photo

As speculation continues about Hillary Clinton's 2016 ambitions, another poll released today showcases the former secretary of state's electoral strength - according to Quinnipiac, Clinton would beat both Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., in a head-to-head matchup in their home state of Florida.

In a race between Clinton and Bush, Clinton would receive 51 percent of the vote to Bush's 40 percent. She edges Rubio by a slightly larger margin, 52 to 41 percent.

Clinton's favorability rating among Florida voters also far outpaces the two Sunshine State Republicans. She is viewed favorably by 62 percent of voters, unfavorably by 33 percent - a 29 point net favorability rating.

Bush, who served two terms as Florida's governor, is still seen favorably by 50 percent of Florida voters (35 percent view him unfavorably.) Rubio, less of a known commodity, is seen favorably by 41 percent, unfavorably by 34 percent.

In favorability, Clinton benefits from a sizable gender gap: 66 percent of women view her favorably, while 56 percent of men agree.

Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, explained, "We probably won't know for some time whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton runs for president, but if she decides to make the race, she begins with a sizable lead in a state that Republicans cannot win the White House without."

"Florida voters have a very positive view of Mrs. Clinton, and it's not just Democrats who feel that way," he added.

Quinnipiac's poll, conducted between March 13 and 18, was based on a survey of 1,000 registered voters in Florida and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.