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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Insider Poll: Marco Rubio for prez again? And will Trump be on the 2020 ballot?

Sen. Marco Rubio, left, and Donald Trump participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in February 2016 in Manchester, N.H.

[Getty Images]

Sen. Marco Rubio, left, and Donald Trump participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in February 2016 in Manchester, N.H.

Marco Rubio wants to be president. He tried in 2016 and lost handily to a Republican he had described as "wholly unqualified" and a "con artist." But even as President Trump seems to self destruct week after week, Rubio has been cautious about criticizing him. So will Rubio make another presidential run in 2020 -- either a primary challenge against Trump or run for the office without Trump seeking reelection?

 Time for another Florida Insider Poll of the state's sharpest political minds.

We asked more than 200 Florida political consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, political scientists, and activists whether they expect Sen. Rubio to run for president in 2020, and nearly 44 percent said yes and 56 percent said no.

But what really reflects the extraordinary turmoil now engulfing the White House is how the Florida Insiders responded to the question of whether they expect Donald Trump will run for president in 2020. Nearly 45 percent said no, and 55 percent yes.

"Donald Trump will run for president in 2020...if his presidency makes it that far," said a Republican.

"Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have said Rubio would run in 2020, but two weeks ago, I thought Trump would serve four years as President.  I don't believe that anymore," said a Democrat.

Most of the participants respondedto  the unscientific poll before last night's New York Times report that former FBI Director James Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had asked him to call off an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

"The Donald Trump Presidency is a ticking time bomb. Russia doesn't pass the smell test and President Trump keeps acting like someone who has something to hide. I'm not saying I think the President has done anything criminal, that the press, the left, and some Republicans aren't out to destroy him, or that I disagree with many of his policies - but perception is reality and it's going to be difficult for the administration to survive this perfect storm of opposition," said a Republican.

"As far as Trump goes, I still don't believe the normal rules apply," another Republican said. "Impeachment talk is nonsense with Republicans controlling the house right now, and the media's fascination with his every move means they will get distracted from all this Russia stuff soon enough.  As to whether Trump has done a good job?  If one is being honest, they would be thinking that he hasn't accomplished much.  Let's hope this turns around soon."

Another Republican: "Expect Rubio to run for Fl Governor if he believes the US Senate will go DEM in 2018. His word to the voters of Florida means nothing." 

The Times allows participants in our Insider Poll to weigh in anonymously in order to encourage honest answers. Many of them work with or for the subjects of the questions.

This month's Florida Insiders included:

Jason Rosenberg, Christian Camara, Zachariah Zachariah, Eric Zichella, Gerald Wester, Peter Wallace, JC Planas, Joe Gruters, Julia Gill Woodward, Chris Hartline, Susie Wiles, Steve Schale, Rodney Barreto, Brett Doster, Sam Rashid, Roly Marante, Christian Ulvert, Oscar Anderson, Mathew Corrigan, Ken Jones, Screven Watson, Marc Reichelderfer, Ben Pollara, Jim Cherry, Charles Dudley,  Brad Coker, Stephanie McClung, Kathy Mears, Ashley Walker, Meredith O'Rourke, Dan McLaughlin, Jim Horne, Phillip Thompson, Christian Ziegler, Tre Evers, Jim Davis, Scott Arceneaux, Doug Kaplan, George Riley, Stephanie Grutman, Cory Tilley, Eric Jotkoff, John Dowless, Mac Stipanovich, Rich Ramos, Bernie Campbell, Hayden Dempsey, Ron Pierce, Peter Antonacci, Beth Leytham, Steve Vancore, Justin Day, Jill Chamberlin, John Wehrung, John French, Rich Heffley,Pete Dunbar, Bill Lee, Ann Herberger, Brian Franklin, Sean Phillippi, Gus Corbella, Ryan Duffy, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Mel Sembler, Rick Wilson, Dave Aronberg, Anthony Bonna, Chip Case, Brian Burgess, Jon Costello, Stafford Jones, Erin VanSickle, Brian Crowley, Chris Cate, David Bishop, Jason Altmire, Stephanie Kunkel, Kirk Pepper, Alan Stonecipher, Van Poole, Chris Korge, Christina Johnson, Clarence McKee, Frank Tsamoutales, Steve Geller, David Johnson, Alex Patton, Kevin King, Aubrey Jewett, Chris Hand, Franco Ripple, Henry Kelley, Nancy Texeira, Pablo Diaz, Katie Bohnett, Bud Shorstein, Leslie Wimes, Lucy Morgan, Travis Blanton, Ron Bilbao, Robin Rorapaugh, Kevin Cate, Alan Clendenin, Christina Baker, Pat Neal, Ashley Bauman, Karl Koch, Jack Furnari, Eric Eikenberg, Doc Dockery, Darryl Paulson, Jon Mills, Susannah Randolph, David Beattie, Brian Goff, Mark Ferrulo, Jason Unger, John Morgan, Ryan Tyson, Cesar Fernandez, Zach Learner, Erik Kirk, Tom Alte, Jeff Kottkamp, Patrick Slevin, Mike Fasano, Pete Mitchell, Jack Seiler, Paula Dockery, Victor DiMaio, David Mica, Jason Roth, Betty Castor, Ron Greenstein, Kathleen Shanahan, Richard DeNapoli, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Darrick D. McGhee, Mike Williams, Greg Goddard, Mike Hamby, Dominic Calabro, Greg Turbeville, Jim Rimes, Tom Lewis, Patrick Manteiga, Matthew Isbell, Towson Fraser, April Schiff, Matthew Van Name, Stephen Shiver, Don Hinkle, Seth McKee, Joshua Karp, David Rancourt, Thomas Grigsby, Husein Cumber, Mark Zubaly, Susan Smith, Greg Blair, Amber Stoner, Paul Mitchell, Ron Gunzburger, Marion Hammer, Damien Filer, Tom Scarritt, Bob Sparks, Nancy McGowan, Ellen Freidin, Barry Edwards, Jose Mallea, Susan Glickman, Ana Cruz, Peter Feaman, Jack Hebert, Fred Karlinsky, Andrew Weinstein, Jamie Miller, Ryan Banfill, Omar Khan, Gretchen Picotte, Josh Geise, Matt Bryan, Allan Bense, Jon Ausman, Jeff Johnson, Susan MacManus, Jamie Wilson, Fred Cunningham, Mitch Ceasar, Karen Unger, Wayne Bertsch, Jackie Lee, Jon Woodard, Nan Rich, Robert Wexler, Chip LaMarca,Reggie Cardozo, Greg C. Truax, Marty Fiorentino, Gregory Wilson, Abel Harding, Bob Graham

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:23pm]


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