Poll: Jeb Bush Well Ahead of GOP Presidential Pack, Leads Christie by 10 Points

29 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Republican Candidates Poll: Jeb Bush Leads Chris Christie Among Possible Presidential Contenders.

Jeb Bush is the “clear Republican presidential frontrunner,” CNN reported in regard to a new CNN/ORC poll that shows the former Florida governor well ahead of other potential GOP candidates since his announcement that he’s “actively exploring” a run at the White House in 2016. He takes nearly one-quarter — 23% — of Republicans surveyed in the new nationwide poll, putting him 10 points ahead of his closest competitor, New Jersey Gov.

Conservative speaker Ben Carson came in third with 7 percent, with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky close behind, pulling 6 percent apiece. The Democratic side looks far less competitive, with the poll finding 66% of Democratic respondents favored Hillary Clinton as their nominee versus just 9% who backed Massachusetts Sen.

Bush’s 10-point lead is the first time any prospective GOP candidate has shown an advantage that eclipses a poll’s margin of error in the past two years, CNN added. The poll comes less than two weeks after Bush announced he would “actively explore” a presidential run, a bold early move that could help him consolidate support from party leaders and financiers before potential rivals declare their own campaigns. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still far and away the favorite to take the Democratic nomination for president if she runs, with the support of two-thirds of Democrats polled. Other CNN poll results on Sunday showed that issues like comprehensive immigration reform and national Common Core school standards, both of which Bush supports, will not sit well with some in the Republican base.

Marco Rubio got into a high-profile spat over the United States’ move to normalize relations with Cuba that may have been a preview of future 2016 debates. Bush would still face some skepticism from GOP primary voters if he ran, but the CNN/ORC poll shows they are largely willing to forgive him for some of his more controversial comments and positions. When asked about Bush’s support for Common Core, 38 percent of Republicans said it made them less likely to vote for him, while 59 percent said it either made no difference or made them more likely to back him.

Bush’s unpopular presidency, a tea party backlash to Common Core education standards he’s championed, and conservative opposition to his immigration reform proposals, which would grant legal status to many undocumented immigrants. And while 40% say the fact that state government spending increased under Bush’s watch as Florida governor, another 49% say that doesn’t matter to them. Despite being both praised and criticized as a centrist candidate, Bush was widely considered a conservative governor, especially on social issues where he led the charge to prevent Florida resident Michael Schiavo from removing his wife Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube after years in an unresponsive vegetative state. The survey was conducted by live interview among 1,011 adults nationwide from Dec. 18-21, with a subsample of 453 Republicans and 469 Democrats, via landline and cell phone.

The biggest issue Republicans had was Bush once describing illegal immigration as an “act of love,” which showed illegal immigrants were concerned about their families.

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