By Adam C. Smith
From the Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA – U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s high-profile positioning for a presidential run in 2016 appears to be doing him no favors back home. Only 41 percent of Floridians have a favorable view of Florida’s junior senator and 34 percent have an unfavorable view, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week.
Rubio these days is less popular than the fellow he chased out of the GOP when they ran for Senate in 2010, Charlie Crist, and less popular than his potential rival for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, Jeb Bush.
The poll found 49 percent of Floridians have a favorable view of Crist, and 50 percent have a favorable view of ex-Gov. Bush. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans, 27 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents have a favorable view of Bush, while 81 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of Democrats, and 41 percent of independents have a favorable view of Rubio.
Nor does it look at this early stage that Rubio is likely to carry his home state’s 29 electoral votes. That Quinnipiac Poll, as well as another Florida poll by Public Policy Polling, found former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton crushing Rubio or Bush by double digits in Florida if the election were held today. Only 37 percent of Florida voters (and 33 percent for Bush) think Rubio should run for president.