Sen. Marco Rubio would begin his 2016 presidential bid well behind the other Florida politician likely to run for the Republican nomination and is averaging just single-digit support in most public polling.
In the latest CNN/ORC International poll, conducted March 13-15, 7% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they would back Rubio, placing him in a tie for 6th place in the race for the Republican nomination. Rubio trailed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (16%), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (13%), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (12%), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (10%) and neurosurgeon Ben Carson (9%). He was tied with New Jersey governor Chris Christie at 7%.
Rubio is the second choice of 11% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, just behind Bush (13%) and even with Walker (11%).
Looking back at national, live interviewer polls on the GOP field back to March 2013, Rubio has the distinction of leading the very first poll. He placed first with 19% in a Quinnipiac University poll of registered Republicans in March 2013. He hasn’t polled that well in any poll since.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted March 25-29 found that 55% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say there’s a chance they’d support Rubio, while 14% say there’s no chance they would back him, and 25% have not heard of him.
In his home state of Florida, Rubio is unable to gain much traction when matched up against fellow Floridian Jeb Bush. A Quinnipiac University poll in March found that 24% of registered Republicans in Florida would back Bush, about twice as many as would support Rubio (12%). Rubio also fell slightly behind Scott Walker in the Quinnipiac poll, 15% said they’d back the Wisconsinite.
Nationwide, slightly more than half of Americans have formed an opinion about the Senator, and they are closely divided. In the latest CNN/ORC International poll, 25% had a favorable view of the senator, 26% an unfavorable opinion, 39% had never heard of him and another 9% were unsure. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 44% had a favorable take on Rubio, 15% unfavorable, 32% had never heard of him and 8% had no opinion. That places him in the middle of the GOP pack in terms of positive impressions among the potential GOP electorate.
In his home state of Florida, Rubio has a broadly positive image among registered Republicans. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted March 17-28 found that 72% have a positive take, 10% an unfavorable one and 17% haven’t heard enough to say.