Poll: Rubio has huge lead after entering Senate race

- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has breezed his way to the top of the pack in a new poll of Republican Primary voters.  A FOX 13 poll conducted by Opinion Savvy gives Rubio a commanding lead, just a week after he decided to run for re-election.

The poll, conducted July 29-30, asked likely Republican primary voters for whom they would vote if the primary were held today.  Seventy-two percent said Rubio.  Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff, who gained a lot of attention with his gruff style and tough-talking TV commercials, had 8 percent. Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Dwight Young also had 8 percent.  Land O’Lakes minister Ernie Rivera had 2 percent.

Rubio entered the race June 22.  His decision to run is a total reversal of months of public comments in which he categorically stated he would not run for re-election to the Senate.  At the time, Rubio was a candidate in the Republican presidential primary, which he ultimately lost to Donald Trump.

One the night of the Florida presidential primary, pollster Matt Lowery predicted Rubio would still have a great political future despite losing his home state.  Lowery told FOX 13 this new poll proves it to be true.

“It would take something unexpected and of a huge magnitude to make this a close race," Towery said.  He did note that should voter turnout be low, the numbers "could tighten a bit" but that Rubio would remain a heavy favorite to win.

The poll also asked likely Republican voters whether Rubio  should campaign with or support GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. The vast majority of respondents said Rubio should embrace Trump's campaign.

"This suggests that Trump has managed to build on his victory in the Florida primary and both Rubio and Trump have solid GOP support at this point," added Towery.

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