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Marco Rubio & Mike Huckabee move up in PPP national survey of GOP 2016 candidates

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continues to have a national lead of Republican presidential candidates in a new Public Policy Polling survey, but Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee have the most momentum in this new poll.

Walker continues to lead the field nationally with 18 percent support, followed by Rubio at 13 percent, Huckabee and Ben Carson at 12 percent, Jeb Bush at 11 percent, Ted Cruz at 10 percent, 5 percent for Chris Christie, and 2 percent for Rick Perry.

In the six weeks since PPP last did a national poll, two candidates have gained clear momentum — Rubio and Huckabee, both of whom have announced their candidacies since that last survey. In addition to being in second place overall, Rubio is the most frequently named second choice of GOP voters at 15 percent. The 28 percent of Republicans who name him as either their first or second choice matches Walker for the lead. And Rubio’s 13 percent represents a 7-point gain from his 6 percent standing in late March. Huckabee gained 6 points from the last national poll PPP did, and his 58 percent favorability rating is the highest of the GOP field and his net +34 rating at 58/24 is tied with Rubio’s at 56/22 to make him the most popular candidate.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush continues to go backwards. He previously was at 17 percent with the PPP poll, now he’s at 11 percent and in fifth place. And he continues to struggle with voters identifying themselves as “very conservative.” Just 5 percent support him for the nomination and his favorability with them is under water at 35/44.

On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton leads with 63 percent to 13 percent for Bernie Sanders, 6 percent for Jim Webb, 5 percent for Lincoln Chafee, and 2 percent for Martin O’Malley.

Public Policy Polling interviewed 685 Republican primary voters and 600 Democratic primary voters nationally from May 7 to 10. The margins of error for the surveys are +/-3.7 percent and +/- 4.0 percent respectively.

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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