Florida voters give Sen. Marco Rubio negative ratings for his work on immigration reform and strongly disagree with his vote in the U.S. Senate against requiring background checks for those buying guns, but they still give him an overall 51 - 35 percent job approval rating, according to Quinnipiac University poll released today.
President Barack Obama gets a split 47 - 48 percent job approval rating, compared to a 50 - 45 percent approval rating in a March 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh- pe-ack) University.
In trial heats for the 2016 presidential race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads two favorite sons, Sen. Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, but either Republican would run neck and neck against Vice President Joe Biden.
Rubio’s approval rating is little changed from his 48 - 33 percent approval March 20, although on individual issues voters are not as enamored with the state’s junior senator:
Voters disapprove 41 - 33 percent of the way Rubio is handling the immigration issue;
Voters say 49 - 10 percent they think less favorably of Rubio because of his vote against expanded background checks.
Background checks are “strongly” supported by 73 percent of voters, including 63 percent of voters in houses with guns, while 14 percent of all voters support them “somewhat.”
“A mark of an able politician is one who can keep his support among the electorate even when that politician follows his own path rather than the public’s preference on a high-profile issue like immigration or gun control,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“As perhaps the best-known Hispanic-American in national politics Sen. Marco Rubio has a tightrope to walk between keeping the folks back home happy and serving as a high-profile symbol for the GOP nationally,” Brown added.
Illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S., with a path to citizenship, 58 percent of Florida voters say, while 12 percent say they should be allowed to stay, with no path to citizenship, and 24 percent say they should be deported.
Supporting a path to citizenship are 54 percent of white voters, 66 percent of black voters and 69 percent of Hispanic voters.
President Barack Obama, who carried Florida in both of his white House campaigns, is doing a bit better there than in some other states and in a May 30 Quinnipiac University national poll that showed him with a negative 45 - 49 percent job approval. The gender gap is shrinking as men disapprove 51 - 45 percent while women approve 49 - 46 percent.
With controversies over the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice and the State Department in the headlines, the president is seen as “honest and trustworthy” 50 - 45 percent, little changed from a 52 - 43 percent measure in a November 10, 2011, Florida poll.
Ms. Clinton would defeat former Gov. Bush 50 - 43 percent in a trial 2016 presidential heat and best Rubio 53 - 41 percent.
Bush would get 47 percent against Vice President Joseph Biden’s 43 percent. In another matchup, Rubio gets 45 percent to Biden’s 43 percent
“Vice President Joseph Biden runs weaker than does former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against a number of Republicans in a number of states Quinnipiac tested,” said Brown.
Florida voters support the state’s “stand your ground” law 57 - 36 percent, virtually unchanged in 12 months of Quinnipiac University surveys.
Voters also support 49 - 40 percent increasing the number of people enrolled in Medicaid, as part of the federal health care overhaul.
From June 11 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,176 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.
For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.
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