In a field where no Republican has risen out of the teens in terms of voter support, it appears Jeb Bush has moved the needle slightly in his favor according to a new CNN poll. Following his announcement that he’s “actively exploring” a 2016 campaign, the new poll now finds him with 23% of GOP primary voters lending support.
Report from CNN:
Jeb Bush is the clear Republican presidential frontrunner, surging to the front of the potential GOP pack following his announcement that he’s “actively exploring” a bid, a new CNN/ORC poll found.
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. Chris Christie, who tallied 13%.
RELATED: Read the entire CNN/ORC poll here
Physician Ben Carson comes in third, with 7% support, and Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are both tied for fourth with 6%.
That marks a drop in support for all but Christie and Bush from the last CNN/ORC survey of the field, conducted in November. That poll showed Bush in the lead, but only taking 14% of the vote, while Carson came in second with 11% and Christie tied Rep. Paul Ryan for fourth with 9% support.
Bush’s 10-point lead is a milestone for the potential GOP field — it marks the first time any prospective candidate has reached a lead beyond a poll’s margin of error in the past two years. [Emphasis added]
Before you point out that at least 77% of GOP primary voters would prefer someone other than Bush, I emphasized the last sentence of that article as a rebuttal. For months, there has been little to no movement in the polling trends with candidates topping off around fifteen to seventeen percent in most cases on the Republican side.
A similar poll from January, 2011, found Mitt Romney the leader of the pack with 17% support. Therefore, I’d conclude Jeb Bush is at least in the same position that Romney was in 2012, if not better.