Florida Senator Marco Rubio is seeing a bump in his numbers in three new polls, and is leading in two of the polls released this past week. Rubio is now in the front, and top tier of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates, and is benefitting the most from a post declaration bump, than any other declared GOP candidates. Rubio is even besting his mentor and frontrunner Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and faring the best against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a potential match-up. A new CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 showed a bump for Rubio and him even tying with Bush in one of the attributes voters are looking for in a candidate. A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, April 23 gave him his first poll lead, and he holds steady in the lead in a Fox News poll released the next day, Friday, April 24.
Rubio, 43 takes the lead of the 2016 GOP candidates in two polls, but not with a very wide margin or percentage. A new Quinnipiac University poll put Rubio in the lead with 15 percent of voters saying he their first choice for their primary vote. Rubio’s bump is a big one, 10 percent from the same poll last month. Jeb Bush the field’s consistent frontrunner came in second place with 13 percent. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker comes in third with 11 percent. The shake up from last month at the top is significant, then Bush lead with 18 percent and Walker a close second with 16 percent. The poll also asked what voters second choice would be and voters who support Bush and Walker overwhelmingly said Rubio. Rubio also leads in the latest Fox News poll with 13 percent support. Walker had the honors for second place with 12 percent support, while Paul came in third with 10 percent. Bush trails in this poll at fourth place with only 9 percent support.
The new CNN/ORC poll shows that although Jeb Bush remains the Republican Party frontrunner, he does not dominate the field like Hilary Clinton does the Democratic one. The poll also shows that there is still fluidity in the GOP field with the newly announced candidates such as Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz rising in the polls. Bush only leads the GOP field with 17 percent of support from Republicans and Independents. In second place is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 12 percent. Rubio and Paul follow tied for third place with 11 percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who will announce his presidential plans in May, has 9 percent support. Cruz, the first GOP candidate to make his campaign official has only has 7 percent support. Tea Party supporters however, favor the three declared candidates the most, with Cruz and Walker topping the field with 15 percent, Rubio second at 14 percent, Paul third with 12 percent. Bush only comes in forth with 11 percent among the party’s most conservative wing.
The poll also looked at attributes of the GOP candidates, Bush leads in most of them. There is one attribute, where Bush has a tie showing he has definite competition. Rubio and Bush both tie with 18 percent as the candidate that “best represents the future of the Republican Party.” Among the GOP candidates that have already declared their candidacy, Rubio has the best chances of appealing to both mainstream and Conservative Republicans and his increasing poll numbers represent that ability. Still CNN believes, “sustaining that momentum through the many campaign rollouts to come could be a challenge.” Rubio, the first presidential candidate of Generation X formally announced his campaign on Monday April 13, at the Miami Florida, Freedom Tower promising 2016 would be a generational choice for a new American century.
Clinton continues her reign dominating all her potential GOP opponents. In potential match-ups, only Rubio gets close, doing better than even frontrunner Bush. Rubio also led the entire GOP field in potential matchup in the general election with Clinton in all these recent polls. The Florida Senator came the closest within polling margins of errors in his matchup with Clinton in the new Quinnipiac University poll, having 43 percent support to Clinton 45 percent. Those numbers are some of the closest a GOP candidate has had in a potential match-up with Clinton. In the CNN poll, all Republicans trailed Hillary Clinton by more 10 percent. Rubio had 41 percent to Clinton’s 55 percent, trailing by 14 percent. While Bush trailed by 17 percent 39 percent to 56 percent.
Rubio’s rise in the polls proves true what many critics of the Clinton and Bush campaign have been saying, the 2016 campaign needs a new “fresh” face. The numbers shows that Bush is hardly a lock on the 2016 Republican nomination, and that Clinton might have a coronation for the Democratic nomination, but she is going to have to work during the general election, and she is hardly a lock on becoming president in 2016. Besides her scandals and baggage, she faces the obstacle of winning a third term for the Democratic Party, and her greatest challenge of all, and the reason Rubio has seen a bump in the polls, she has to fight against youth, and new ideas for a new century.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.