Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the leading 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls, has taken a big hit in his favorability ratings among likely voters.
Rasmussen, a right-leaning public opinion polling business, found that support for Rubio has declined within the Republican party by 10 points since May and 15 points since February. The drop in support for the junior senator is likely because of his sponsorship of a polarizing immigration bill.
The poll, however, did report that 58 percent of Republicans still hold a favorable opinion of Rubio, despite the 10 point drop. In addition, only 16 percent of Republicans hold a distinctly negative opinion of the senator while 25 percent are undecided.
Rubio took a hit within the Democratic party as well as his favorability dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent with Democratic voters.
The only group that Rubio gained favorability was with Independents, who previously had a 37 percent favorability and now 41 percent hold favorable opinions.
The drop in Rubio’s favorability has coincided with the Republicans’ growing concerns about the border security promises in the big immigration bill. Many are wary to pass a bill that would provide undocumented immigrants a path to legalization without strongly bolstering border security, despite a recent amendment to the Senate bill guaranteeing border security measures are put in place before the citizenship program is opened.
Rubio, as one of the Gang of Eight responsible for crafting the bill, has had to act as a liaison between Democrats and Republicans in order to gain support for the bill, but his efforts have unfortunately been perceived by the Republicans as fraternizing with the enemy rather than bipartisanship.