Poll: With Marco Rubio as VP, Republicans could win Florida

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio could provide the juice needed for a Republican presidential candidate to win Florida, according to a new poll by Suffolk University. But the advantage dissolves if President Barack Obama adds Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to his Democratic ticket.

“In Florida, Marco Rubio is superman, but Hillary Clinton is kryptonite,’’ said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Boston’s Suffolk University.

Rubio has repeatedly said he is not interested in the vice presidency in 2012. Earlier this year, Clinton told CNN that she would was not interested in running as vice president or as president in the future.

The poll of 800 registered voters in Florida, conducted from Oct. 26-30, found that with Rubio on the ticket the Republican presidential nominee would secure 46 percent to Obama’s 41 percent in Florida. Voters seemed to be unfazed by Rubio’s bad press over his muddled story of his family’s arrival to the United States from Cuba, which emerged just before the poll was conducted last week.

But the poll shows that without Rubio in the mix, Obama tied Mitt Romney at 42 percent and led all other contenders: Herman Cain — 42 percent to 39 percent, Rick Perry — 46 percent to 39 percent, Ron Paul — 44 percent to 32 percent and Newt Gingrich 45 percent to 38 percent.

"Marco Rubio secures Florida which, along with Ohio, is one of the two most important swing states to win,’’ Paleologos said.

Because Rubio, a former House speaker and state legislator from Miami, polled well among Hispanic voters and younger voters, Paleologos said he believes that Rubio could also lend the Republican candidate strength in the westerners states of New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona and Nevada, all with sizable Hispanic voters.

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