Florida political insiders say they think former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will ultimately decide to run for president in 2016, a new poll suggests.
Nearly 75 percent say they believe Bush will launch a White House bid, according to the Tampa Bay Times’s Florida Insider Poll released Friday.
Bush has not yet made his 2016 intentions clear, compared to other prominent Republicans who have hinted at potential bids like Govs. Rick Perry (R-Texas) and Chris Christie (R-N.J).
Bush served as governor of the Sunshine State from 1999 until 2007.
Just a third of people surveyed say they think Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will run for the GOP ticket — a 10 percentage point drop from those who said the same in a similar Florida Insider Poll conducted in January.
"Jeb is showing all the signs of running," one Republican told the Times. "Rubio is just too young and unseasoned yet for the presidency. Needs to wait a bit longer."
At the time of the 2016 election, Bush would be 63 years old; Rubio would be 45.
If Bush chooses not to run, however, an overwhelming 86 percent say they think Rubio would then jump into the race, the survey found.
Some Republicans, meanwhile, have been critical of a recent remark Bush made about immigration that largely contradicted his party’s views.
People who come to the United States illegally do so out of “an act of love,” Bush said on Fox News last week, adding that they aren’t committing a crime.
The Florida Insider Poll surveys the state’s political operatives, donors, fundraisers, academics, activists and more, the Times said. The latest poll surveyed 60 Republicans, 51 Democrats and 10 people registered in other parties.