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Poll: Trump leads Republicans in Florida

Poll also shows many agree with Trump's 'ban Muslims' comment

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new poll shows Donald Trump has a substantial lead over other Republican presidential candidates in Florida.

The poll was conducted by OpinionSavvy for The Florida Times-Union.

It also shows the majority of those questioned agree with Trump's stance on banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

READ: Results of Florida Times-Union OpinionSavvy poll

Surveyed in the poll were 555 Florida Republicans who are likely to vote in the primary. Here’s a rundown of the results:

  • Trump: 29.7 percent
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: 20.4 percent
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: 15 percent
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 12.5 percent
  • Physician Ben Carson: 7.7 percent
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 6.1 percent
  • All others had less than 3 percent
     

The poll mirrors national trends, so many were not surprised to see Trump leading the pack.

But News4Jax political expert Jennifer Carroll said it also shows there is room for the other candidates to move up.

“It still leaves room for Cruz or Marco Rubio, at 15 percent, to have an opportunity to rise up in the numbers when it comes times to voting, because a lot of these primary voters have not made up their minds,” Carroll said.

Carroll said the fact that no one is surging to a breakout lead, 40 to 50 percent, is surprising.

“Donald Trump is playing his cards well. He is really tapping into the emotional core of voters fed up with business as usual and political correctness. He is somebody who has spoken his mind and not backed down from the things he's said,” Carroll said. “He is just saying things people are thinking and feeling but are afraid to say it themselves.”

The poll also questioned voters on one of Trump's controversial statements: banning all Muslims from entering the country.

About 48 percent said they strongly approve of that statement. Nearly 12 percent strongly disapproved.
Parvez Ahmed, a Muslim who serves on the city's Human Rights Commission, said he is not surprised with those results.

"It is troubling because we are using fear to drive a political race," Ahmed said. "Candidates are using fear to mine for votes. This is not a happy place to be for, anyone. Not certainly an American who happens to be Muslim but certainly not even just an American because this is not a fight about policy."

The Florida presidential primary is March 15.

The Republicans on the ballot are Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Trump.

Voters must be registered by Feb. 16 with one of the parties to participate in the primary.

 

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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