Many Republicans no doubt hope that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will help the party make inroads among Hispanic voters and turn Florida red in 2016 after losing in the quadrennial battleground in the last two presidential elections. A poll released Thursday suggested that Hillary Clinton could easily offset both of those purported advantages if the two were to square off in 2016.
Fifty-two percent of Sunshine State voters said they would prefer Clinton in such a matchup while 41 percent gave the nod to Rubio, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University. And the former secretary of state draws a big boost from Hispanic voters in the state, crushing Rubio among the key voting bloc 57 percent to 35 percent. Clinton also easily bested Jeb Bush in the poll, topping the former Florida governor by 32 points among in-state Hispanics and 11 points among voters overall. The poll also found Clinton to be much more personally popular in the state, particularly among Hispanics, than either Rubio or Bush.
While it’s important to emphasize that the next presidential race is still a long way off, it’s also notable that Rubio’s performance among Florida Hispanics in Thursday’s poll was quite similar to how Mitt Romney fared among the same group of voters against President Obama last year. According to exit polls, 60 percent of Florida Hispanics voted for Obama while just 39 percent voted for Romney.
Another poll from Quinnipiac released earlier this month showed Clinton with a massive lead over Rubio among Hispanic voters nationwide.