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Donald Trump leads Jeb Bush nationally in USA Today poll, 17-14%

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With Scott Walker’s official entry into the GOP presidential contest on Monday, there are now 15 Republicans vying for the highest office in the land.

But if you were to just follow the polls in the past week, there are now two men that matter in the mid-summer of 2015: Donald Trump and Jeb Bush.

A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll published on Tuesday shows the bombastic New York City businessman leading Bush in a new poll, 17-14 percent.

Walker is third in the survey, garnering 8 percent. Ted Cruz is next with 6 percent, followed by Marco Rubio at 5 percent, with three candidates next at 3 percent: Dr. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul. Chris Christie is next at 3 percent.

Receiving less than 2 percent each were former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

A significant 30 percent of the Republican electorate remains undecided about whom they will support among a crowded field of candidates.

“Trump is making daily headlines in advance of the primary season,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “This has vaulted him to the top of the pack on the backs of conservative voters. But when you expand the electoral pool to include Democrats and independents that potency dissipates.”

Among self-identified conservative or very conservative Republican likely voters, Trump led Bush 17 percent to 11 percent, with all other candidates in single digits. However, among voters of all parties, Trump’s negatives were the highest, at 61 percent.

In a one-on-one match-up, Hillary Clinton leads Trump, 51-34 percent. Against Bush, she leads, but only by a 46-42 percent margin.

The Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey was conducted via landline and cell phone. The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Thursday, July 9, through Sunday, July 12. The margin of error overall is +/-3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. For the Republican subset of 349 likely Republican primary/caucus voters, the margin of error is +/- 5.25 percent; for the subset of 595 likely Republican primary/caucus voters including first and second choices combined, the margin of error is +/- 4.02 percent.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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