Bush, Rubio Dominate in New Poll

Bush, Rubio Dominate in New Poll
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Perceptions of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have become more positive since March, and both Floridians enjoy broad support among different types of Republican Party primary voters, according to a new poll.

The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey found that 75 percent of respondents said they could see themselves supporting Bush (an increase from 49 percent in March), while 74 percent said the same of Rubio (an increase from 56 percent in March).

Bush, the state’s former governor who announced his candidacy last week, aided in Rubio’s rise to political fame, and the two share the lead in terms of how GOP primary voters view their crop of candidates.

Both lead among social conservatives, a key voting bloc in early primary states like Iowa and South Carolina, and among Second Amendment supporters, who account for two-thirds of the electorate nationwide. Those who view themselves as centrists or liberals also prefer Bush or Rubio.

Voters who describe themselves as Tea Party members, though, are not as supportive of Bush. Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are most popular among this group.

Mike Huckabee comes in third place overall in the survey, with 65 percent saying they could see themselves backing the former Arkansas governor and Fox News host. That’s an increase from 52 percent since March. Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina benefited from the largest March-to-June increases.

All candidates saw somewhat of a boost in potential support over the three-month period, with only Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s and Sen. Rand Paul’s numbers staying flat at 36 percent and 49 percent, respectively. Businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump, who also entered the race last week, enjoyed an increase from March based on the percentage of voters who said they could support him, but two-thirds said they would not consider casting their ballot for him.

Paul, though, saw a 10-percent decrease in support from April, likely over his filibuster regarding the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection practices – a fight which he took against his own party.

The biggest worry among all voters – but more prominently among Democrats – was that “wealthy individuals and corporations will have too much influence over who wins.”

When asked to pick just one GOP candidate, Bush has the lead with 22 percent, followed by Walker’s 17 percent and Rubio’s 14 percent.

An Aug. 6 presidential debate hosted by Fox News will only feature the top 10 candidates based on an average of recent national polls. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina round out the top 10, and would be on stage with Bush, Walker and Rubio if these results hold.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Trump each polled at 1 percent, and would be left out of the Fox debate. After receiving pushback from New Hampshire Republicans, though, Fox agreed to host a second forum for lower-tier candidates on the same day of the debate.

According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Bush narrowly leads the GOP pack with 10.8 percent support to Walker’s 10.6 percent. Rubio is a close third with 10 percent, and Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul round out the top six.

The WSJ/NBC News survey of 1,000 adults, conducted June 14-18, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The poll asking GOP primary voters to name their top choice for the nomination surveyed 236 registered voters from June 14-18, with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.38 percentage points.

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