Marco Rubio has lost ground to Donald Trump over the past two weeks in Florida, a new poll has found with less than a week left until Rubio's must-win home-state primary.
Trump bests Rubio 45-22 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. That's a margin of 23 percentage points, 5 points higher than the 16-point lead in Quinnipiac's Feb. 25 poll (in that survey, Trump was ahead by 44-28 percent).
Rubio has lost a string of primaries and caucuses in other states, winning only Sunday in Puerto Rico. He's even fallen behind rival John Kasich in several instances. The Florida poll found Ted Cruz garnering 18 percent support, and Kasich 8 percent. The poll's error margin is 3.8 percentage points.
"The effort within the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidential nomination appears unlikely to stop him from taking Florida's delegate-rich winner-take-all primary," assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said in a statement. "In the Sunshine State, hometown hero Sen. Marco Rubio is 23 points behind Trump and isn't even doing much better than Sen. Ted. Cruz. Also discouraging for the anti-Trump folks is that Trump voters say they are less likely than those supporting any of the other candidates to change their mind in the closing days."
Nineteen percent of respondents said they might still change their candidate, and 6 percent remained undecided.
Quinnipiac surveyed 657 self-identified Republican voters from March 2-7. That methodology is likely to have caught independent voters who won't be allowed to vote in Florida's closed primary. Polls that have targeted Republicans based on voter lists showing their previous participation in elections have showed a smaller Trump lead.