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First Coast Connect

01/20/16: Republican Candidates In Florida; Ringling Bros. Ringmaster; "M*A*S*H" Star Loretta Swit

The results of a new poll released this week by the Florida Times-Union show Donald Trump and Ted Cruz leading the field of Republican presidential candidates among likely voters in Florida.

Trump is the choice of 31 percent of GOP primary voters in the state, a 12-point lead over Ted Cruz’s 19 percent support.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio are essentially tied for third place, with 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

We discuss the state of the presidential race with Matt Towery, founder of InsiderAdvantage, which conducted the poll.

Also joining us are Mike Binder, assistant professor of political science and public affairs at UNF, and Stephen Baker, professor of political science at Jacksonville University.

As the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performs in Jacksonville this week, we speak with Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson about the circus's decision to phase out performing elephants from its production.

And "M*A*S*H" star and animal advocate Loretta Swit joins us with a preview of this weekend's "M*A*S*H Gala" to benefit Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue in St. Augustine. The event will feature her fellow "M*A*S*H" cast members Jamie Far and Mike Farrell as well as actor Ed Asner.

Subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast in iTunes.

Sean Birch joined the WJCT team in late 2011 and was with the company until 2016.