Trump Moving In On Bush & Rubio
Friday and Saturday last week saw Donald Trump moving in on Bush and Rubio territory in Florida. His extremely well supported rallies in Miami (Friday) and in Jacksonville (Saturday) have helped to increase Trump’s support in the state.
This despite the fact that Jeb Bush is a two-term governor of Florida and Marco Rubio has been a senator for the state since 2011.
Although not a resident of the state himself, Donald Trump is no stranger to sunny Florida. He has a home in Palm Beach as well as several business ventures, and is well-known in philanthropic circles in the state.
It is early days, of course. Florida doesn’t hold its winner-take-all primary until March 15, 2016. That is after “super Tuesday,” the nomination day when 13 states decide which candidate their delegates will support.
But for Trump, the prize could be a chance to knock out two major rivals on their home turf – assuming of course that they are still in the race by that stage.
If Trump does win in Florida, it would have an important impact on the 2016 Republican nomination. It would give him an edge that nobody may be able to beat. The state is a big source of delegates and in a narrowed field of candidates could prove decisive. Florida produces one-twelfth of all the delegates that are needed.
The Polls Still Have Trump Ahead
According to an aggregation of polls by Real Clear Politics, Trump is currently in the lead among Florida Republicans with 24.7 percent of the vote. He is beating Carson who has 16.7 percent of voter support . Rubio is in third and Bush trails Rubio in fifth at 12.7 percent.
A University of North Florida poll of likely Republican primary voters out this week found Trump with the support of 22 percent. Carson, who also lives in the state, had 19 percent. Rubio was third with 15 percent and Bush fourth with 9 percent.
Florida Republicans like Trump. In similar fashion to millions of potential voters nationwide, many Republicans in Florida are looking for a change. That sentiment was evident at Trump’s loud rallies. They are looking for someone strong to lead the country and Trump is the only one that fits the bill.
In previous years Florida has been a good hunting ground for “outsider” candidates. In 1992, for example, Ross Perot won nearly 20 percent of the state’s vote. And Gov. Rick Scott is another former businessman won as a rookie politician in 2010.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announced Friday that it will open an office in Sarasota and that local GOP chairman Joe Gruters is joining the Trump team as the Florida chairman. Susan Wiles, campaign manager for Scott in 2010, was named co-chair for Trump’s campaign.
The battle ground is being prepared in the sunshine state. It will be an interesting one to watch.