A new poll published by Public Policy Polling shows Florida Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio need to do a lot of work to become competitive in New Hampshire, the site of the first Republican Presidential Primary election next January.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is looking very strong, leading with 24 percent support. That’s 10 percentage points higher than the second-place Republican, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. And what’s most impressive is that Walker was only at 3 percent when PPP surveyed New Hampshire voters back in January.
Rand Paul is third with 12 percent, and Jeb Bush comes in fourth with just 10 percent support. Marco Rubio and Chris Christie follow with 8 percent. Mike Huckabee and Dr. Ben Carson are at 7 percent. Rick Perry is at 4 percent.
But while Rubio would seem to have the potential to grow with the momentum generated from his announcement on Monday night declaring his candidacy for president, his Miami-area neighbor, Jeb Bush, appears to be in trouble.
Bush continues to face some early skepticism from conservative voters. His overall favorability spread is only 41/40 among New Hampshire voters, and among voters who identify themselves as “very conservative” he’s actually on negative ground at 34/45. Only six percent within that group say Bush is their first choice to be the Republican nominee.
Other losers in the poll have to be Chris Christie, whose support has dropped by 16 points now to its current eight percent standing, and PPP says he is by far and away the most unpopular candidate in the GOP field there. Only 34 percent of voters there view him favorably to 49 percent with a negative opinion. The only other potential GOP hopefuls with underwater numbers in the state are Donald Trump (40/41), George Pataki (21/28), and Lindsey Graham (20/36).
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is at 45 percent. Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren produces one of her best poll ratings, getting 23 percent. Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is at 12 percent, Joe Biden at 7 percent, Martin O’Malley at 3 percent, and 1 percent each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb.
PPP surveyed 358 Republican primary voters and 329 Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire from April 9th to 13th.. The margins of error are +/- 5.2% for the GOP sample, and +/- 5.4% for the Democratic portion. 80 percent of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20 percent interviewed over the Internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones.