Trump Surge Hurts Former Gov

By John Celock

Jeb Bush may have spent eight years as Florida’s governor, but a businessman who owns property in Palm Beach is upsetting his presidential ambitions.

A Public Policy Poll released Monday showed that Florida voters want Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to drop out of the GOP presidential contest and favor businessman Donald Trump for the White House. The poll indicated that 47 percent of those surveyed believe Bush should drop out of the presidential contest, while 42 percent believe Rubio should drop his campaign.

The poll has Trump, who owns the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, leading the Florida GOP primary with 28 percent, followed by 17 percent for physician Ben Carson, 13 percent for Bush and 10 percent for Rubio. In a hypothetical head to head match-up, Trump leads Bush in Florida 55 percent to 38 percent.

The polls come eight years after Bush left the Florida governor’s mansion. During his eight years in office, Bush easily dominated Florida politics, including the state Republican Party. While his first gubernatorial race, in 1994, saw a narrow two-point loss to Democratic incumbent Lawton Chiles, Bush defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay 55 percent to 45 percent to capture his first term in 1998. In 2002, Bush defeated Democratic businessman Bill McBride 56 percent to 43 percent.