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New CNN poll: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush lead GOP, Hillary Clinton stumbles

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In the GOP race for the 2016 presidential nomination, new polling shows U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush leading the pack, although no one candidate has emerged as a clear frontrunner.

As it now stands, a new CNN/ORC 2016 poll has the race shaping up with some warnings for Democrat Hillary Clinton, as well as a few concerns for Bush, the Republican Party’s highest- profile contender.

Of a group of seven Republicans, Floridians Rubio and Bush are at the top, followed in order by Mike Huckabee, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

Rubio tops the field at 14 percent, with Bush closely behind at 13 percent. Huckabee and Walker have 10 percent each, trailed by Cruz (8 percent), Paul (8 percent) and Carson (7 percent) – each bordering on the double-digit support mark.

As for the candidate who would best represent the future of the Republican Party, three-quarters of voters say it is Rubio (77 percent) or Walker (75 percent), while almost 7 in 10 say the same for Paul (68 percent).

Both Bush (51 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (51 percent) are seen by respondents as far less likely to be the candidate representing the future.

Bush has also been mostly successful in distancing himself from his brother, former President George W. Bush. Only about half of voters polled say Bush is “a lot like his brother.”

More than half of all survey respondents — 56 percent — say Jeb Bush’s connection to two former presidents would make them less likely to support him for the presidency. Twenty-seven percent say his family connection makes them more likely to support the former Florida governor. With Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 42 percent are more likely to back Jeb Bush because of his family connections; 38 percent say family relations make it less likely to vote for him.

That is a complete reversal to what George W. faced in his 1999 run for the presidency, where a similar poll had 42 percent saying Bush’s connection to his father, former President George H. W. Bush, made them more likely to back him; 24 percent said it make them less likely to support him.

With Democrats, Hillary Clinton continues her lead, but her allure has faded somewhat, mostly because of a shift among independents, and a loss of some of her own supporters. Her support with Democrats dropped 9 points since April with more than 8 in 10 Democrats saying they believed her to be honest and trustworthy; now, that number is just 73 percent.

In head-to-head match-ups against GOP contenders, Clinton still leads, but her margin is the smallest it has been at any prior point.

The CNN/ORC Poll telephone poll was conducted May 29-31, taking a national random sample of 1,025 adults. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points for the entire sampling: 4.5 points among the 433 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, and for the 483 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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