Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves office with a new poll showing her trouncing GOP favorite Sen. Marco Rubio, 46 percent to 23 percent in a 2016 matchup.
But the shocking news of the new poll by Zogby Analytics is that in a Clinton-Rubio contest, Rubio wins the Hispanic vote, 48 percent to 34 percent, a seismic shift in the potential Hispanic vote that Rubio could use as a base to build on to win in 2016.
Pollster John Zogby told Secrets that the Hispanic vote is even more surprising when compared to their recent voting pattern. In 2008, Hispanics voted with President Obama 67 percent to 31 percent for Sen. John McCain. Last year, Obama took a record 70 percent of the Hispanic vote.
"What really jumps out at me is among Hispanic voters Rubio actually leads 48 percent to 34 percent, with 18 percent undecided," said Zogby. "I have been one to suggest that the Hispanic vote could be hopeless for the GOP. But maybe not?"
The poll suggests that Rubio could be the elixir the GOP has been searching for. "There's only one way to try to conquer that and the answer may be Rubio," he said.
A senior GOP official told Secrets that if Rubio can win the Hispanic vote, "then he can win the presidency. He will keep the GOP base so adding a big chunk on to that will certainly make him the man."
The poll did not indicate why Hispanics like Rubio, other than his story growing up a Latino is well known. He has also joined the bipartisan Senate effort to reform immigration.
Zogby's nationwide poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday among 859 likely voters.