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Trump's Florida lead falls days ahead of primary

Posted at 2:37 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 07:01:30-05

A new poll out Monday shows Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s lead in Florida slipping just days ahead of the important Republican primary in the state. The Monmouth University poll, conducted from March 3 to March 6 among likely Republican voters in the state, shows Trump with 38 percent of the vote, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio narrows his second-place position in the state with 30 percent of the vote.

With only two victories in early-voting states so far, Rubio is looking to upset Trump in his home state on March 15 in a primary that many consider a critical win for the junior senator from Miami to continue his campaign.

30 percent among Florida Republicans is the highest Rubio has seen since announcing his campaign for president. Quinnipiac and PPP polls conducted the final week of February show Trump pulling 44 and 45 percent of the Florida vote. Rubio took 28 and 25 percent in those polls. In a Florida Atlantic University poll conducted in January, Trump took in a whopping 48 percent of the vote. FAU plans to release another Florida presidential primary poll on March 14, one day before Florida voters will cast their vote.

In the Monmouth poll released today, Rubio faired much better in South Florida where he beats Trump 41 to 30 percent. However, in the central part of the state, Trump dominates with 44 percent compared to Rubio's 22 percent of the vote. In northern parts of the state, Trump only leads by four points, 36 to 32 percent, according to the Monmouth poll.

Other Republican candidates, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, took 17 and 10 percent respectively in the Monmouth poll. 

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