February 4, 2015 - GOP In Flux In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania Primaries, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Clinton Sweeps Dem Pack, With Biden As Second Choice Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is emerging as the Republican front-runner in an early look at possible presidential primaries in the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but even with Mitt Romney out of the race, Gov. Bush's only clear dominance is in his native Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

In contrast, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the choice of more than 50 percent of Democrats in each state, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.

If Clinton does not run, Vice President Joseph Biden leads the Democratic pack in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with tallies ranging from 28 percent to 39 percent.

With Romney in the race, Bush takes 30 percent of Republicans in Florida, 9 percent in Ohio and 10 percent in Pennsylvania. With Romney out, Bush gets 32 percent of Florida Republicans, 10 percent in Ohio and 12 percent in Pennsylvania. Other Republican contenders are close, or even ahead in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the presidential race, at first blush, has no statistical benefit in Florida, Ohio or Pennsylvania for any candidate for the Republican presidential nomination," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "From the beginning of this survey, we asked Romney supporters who they would vote for if the 2012 standard-bearer bowed out, so we are able to measure the results of that decision. Looking at the final tally, his supporters moved evenly to a variety of the remaining candidates."

"Taken as a whole, there is no clear leader for the Republican presidential nomination in these three critical swing states. Former Gov. Jeb Bush is way ahead in Florida with almost a third of the vote, but no candidate is in comparable situation in Ohio or Pennsylvania," Brown added. "In fact, four candidates are in low double-digits in Ohio and just three in Pennsylvania. Bush is the only one in double digits in all three states, but barely so.

"The Democratic race is the exact opposite. Hillary Clinton has an overwhelming lead and currently no serious challengers. Should she decide not to run, the field could grow like a weed. If she stays in, the numbers indicate she has nothing to worry about when it comes to the Democratic nomination."

Florida

With Romney out of the race, Bush leads among Florida Republicans with 32 percent, followed by fellow Native Son, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, with 15 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 11 percent. No other candidate tops 9 percent and 8 percent remain undecided.

Clinton leads the Democratic pack in Florida with 61 percent, followed by Vice President Biden with 11 percent and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 9 percent. No other candidate tops 2 percent and 10 percent are undecided.

If Clinton bows out, Biden leads with 39 percent, followed by Warren with 22 percent. No other candidate is over 3 percent and 23 percent are undecided.

"Former Gov. Jeb Bush's home state lead among Republicans is impressive. With U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio getting 15 percent, almost half the Florida GOP electorate backs a home state candidate. If Rubio, who has yet to make up his mind, decides not to run, that would give Bush a huge leg up in the nation's most populous swing state. If Rubio does run it will set up a home- state battle between a mentor, Bush, and his prot‚g‚, Rubio," Brown said.

Ohio

Gov. John Kasich's Native Son support wins him 14 percent of Ohio Republicans in a Romney-free primary race. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has 11 percent, with 10 percent each for Bush and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. No other candidate tops 8 percent and 20 percent are undecided.

Clinton takes 51 percent of Ohio Democrats, with 14 percent for Warren and 7 percent for Biden. No other candidate tops 5 percent and 15 percent are undecided.

If Clinton doesn't run, Biden gets 28 percent, with 24 percent for Warren and 28 percent undecided.

"The big question in Ohio is whether Gov. John Kasich runs. If so, the data indicates that he would be a formidable competitor in his home state. This Swing State Poll, however, indicates that he has a long, long way to go in Florida and Pennsylvania," Brown said.

Pennsylvania

With Romney out of the running, it's a real horse race among Pennsylvania Republicans, with 12 percent for Bush, 11 percent for New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and 10 percent for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. No other candidate tops 8 percent and 22 percent are undecided.

Clinton leads among Democrats with 54 percent, followed by 12 percent for Warren and 10 percent for Biden. No other candidate tops 2 percent and 15 percent are undecided.

With Clinton out of the race, Biden gets 34 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats, with 21 percent for Warren.

"Hillary Clinton needs binoculars to find a challenger in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Even Scranton-born Vice President Joseph Biden is just a blip out there somewhere," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"The GOP race is all over the political map, with Governors Jeb Bush, Christopher Christie and Mike Huckabee jostling for the lead."

From January 22 - February 1 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 936 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent. The survey includes 348 registered Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent and 322 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.
  • 943 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent. This includes 337 registered Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent and 315 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.
  • 881 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent. This includes 342 registered Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent and 392 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5 percent
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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 @QuinnipiacPoll.

1a. (If Registered Republican) If the Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Bush                 30%     9%    10%
Carson                7      7      8
Christie              2      4     10
Cruz                  3      5      4
Huckabee             10      5      9
Jindal                3      1      2
Kasich                -     11      2
Paul                  3      8      3
Perry                 1      -      1
Romney                9     15     12
Rubio                13      3      3
Santorum              3      -      6
Walker                8     10      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      2
DK/NA                 8     18     21
 
 
2a. RECALCULATED MATCHUP Q1A ASKING ROMNEY VOTERS: Who is your second choice?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS....
                     MATCHUP Q1A WITHOUT ROMNEY
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Bush                 32%    10%    12%
Carson                8      8      8
Christie              3      6     11
Cruz                  4      6      6
Huckabee             11      7     10
Jindal                3      1      2
Kasich                -     14      3
Paul                  3     10      3
Perry                 1      1      1
Rubio                15      4      4
Santorum              3      1      8
Walker                9     11      6
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      2
DK/NA                 8     20     22
 
 
1b. (If Registered Democrat) If the Democratic primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Jim Webb, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Biden                11%     7%    10%
Clinton              61     51     54
O'Malley              1      1      2
Sanders               2      5      2
Warren                9     14     12
Webb                  1      -      1
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      4
DK/NA                10     15     15
 
 
2b. RECALCULATED MATCHUP Q1B ASKING CLINTON VOTERS: Who is your second choice?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS.......
                     MATCHUP Q1B WITHOUT CLINTON
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Biden                39%    28%    34%
O'Malley              2      2      5
Sanders               3      7      3
Warren               22     24     21
Webb                  2      2      4
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       4      4      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      5      5
DK/NA                23     28     26
 
 
9. Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            88%    83%    83%
Unfavorable          10     11     11
Hvn't hrd enough      1      4      5
REFUSED               1      2      1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of Chris Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            39%    38%    49%
Unfavorable          33     30     31
Hvn't hrd enough     25     31     18
REFUSED               3      2      3
 
 
11. Is your opinion of Jeb Bush favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            76%    43%    48%
Unfavorable          15     22     22
Hvn't hrd enough      7     34     30
REFUSED               2      1      -
 
 
12. Is your opinion of Rand Paul favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            53%    51%    45%
Unfavorable          14     13     16
Hvn't hrd enough     32     35     38
REFUSED               2      1      1
 
 
13. Is your opinion of Mike Huckabee favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            62%    57%    58%
Unfavorable          18     16     14
Hvn't hrd enough     19     26     27
REFUSED               2      1      1
 
 
14. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            73%    71%    66%
Unfavorable          17     20     23
Hvn't hrd enough      8      8      9
REFUSED               2      1      2
 
 
15a. (FL only) Is your opinion of Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            69%     -      -
Unfavorable          15      -      -
Hvn't hrd enough     16      -      -
REFUSED               -      -      -
 
 
15b. (OH only) Is your opinion of John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     74%     -
Unfavorable           -      9      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     16      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
15c. (PA only) Is your opinion of Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     56%
Unfavorable           -      -     25
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     19
REFUSED               -      -      -
 
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Pennsylvania: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail