The Florida primary is now less than two months away, and while that's still plenty of time of voters to change their minds, it appears Donald Trump has a huge lead in the Sunshine State.
According to a new poll released Wednesday by Florida Atlantic University, Trump has surged nearly 12 points in the last two months and is closing on half of the GOP vote. The poll shows Trump with 48 percent support, followed by Ted Cruz at 16 percent.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trail just outside the 4.9-point margin of error at 11 and 10 percent, respectively. Ben Carson, who was in third place just two months ago at 15 percent fell to fifth with 3 percent support.
Cruz saw the second-biggest gain since the November poll was released, gaining more than 6 points. Bush gained 0.6 of a point, while Rubio lost more than 7 points over the past two months. Trump from the November 2015 poll, while Rubio lost more than seven points and Bush gained six-tenths of a point.
"At this point, Donald Trump is simply crushing the opposition in the Florida Republican primary," FAU associate professor of political science Kevin Wagner said of the poll numbers. "Not only has he increased his lead, Mr. Trump's favorability rating among Republicans is now ahead of his competitors by a substantial margin."
Trump has a 70-percent favorability rating among Florida GOP voters. Rubio had the second-highest favorability rating at 63 percent, followed by Cruz and Bush at 57 and 47 percent, respectively.
The poll also found that while Hillary Clinton has gained a little ground over some of the GOP candidates in head-to-head matchups, Florida would likely be a "red state" in the 2016 General Election. Sanders did not fare as well as Clinton head-to-head with the Republican candidates.
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