For the first time in this too-soon-with-us presidential cycle, Hillary Clinton does not lead all possible Republican challengers in Florida, home of citrus, sandy beaches, and 29 electoral votes.
A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows Mz. Hillary trailing Jeb Bush by 45 to 42 percent. In early February Quinnipiac had the race 44 to 43 Clinton. Marco Rubio, who all and sundry believe will hop into the presidential race April 13, has closed to 44-46 behind Clinton. Last month he trailed Clinton by 10 points. Even Rand Paul is now within hailing distance of Clinton at 43 to 46 percent.
The poll also shows Clinton has a serious problem on the issue of trustworthiness. Whether it’s sparked by La Clinton’s recent email peccadillos or comes from her long-time casual relationship with the truth, only 41 percent of Floridians tell Quinnipiac they consider Clinton honest and trustworthy, while 50 percent say they don’t. Bush is above water in this dimension by 54 to 35 percent.
We’re still almost a year away from presidential primaries, but the movement and direction here is of interest because it’s unlikely any Republican could move into 1600 without the help of Florida’s 29 electoral votes. In 2008 and 2012 Florida, formerly a red now a purple state, went narrowly to the little hustler from Chicago.
Recent Quinnipiac polls do show Clinton with healthy leads in two other swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania. So healthy in Ohio as to be nine points.
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