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Scott Walker & Jeb Bush top the field in new GOP national presidential poll

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A new Quinnipiac poll released today shows that Scott Walker and Jeb Bush continue to stand above the rest in the early going of the 2016 GOP presidential field.

Walker comes in at 18 percent and Bush follows with 16 percent in the national poll released Thursday morning.

Then it’s a big drop, with New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tied at 8 percent each. Retired physician Ben Carson (who has now apologized for saying that going to prison makes a man gay), is at 7 percent, with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz at 6 percent.

Marco Rubio is at 5 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton continues to dominate, leading Elizabeth Warren 56-14 percent. Vice President Joe Biden gets 10 percent support, and Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is at 4 percent.

If Secretary Clinton does not run, Vice President Biden gets 35 percent, with 25 percent for Sen. Warren and 7 percent for Sanders, with 25 percent undecided.

“It’s Gov. Scott Walker and former Gov. Jeb Bush head to head for the GOP and Hillary Clinton virtually unchallenged among Democrats. Her 4-1 margin over U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 5-1 lead over Vice President Joseph Biden say it’s hers if she wants it,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The poll was conducted from February 26-March 2, before the story about Clinton not using a government email address as secretary of state surfaced.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,286 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. The survey includes 554 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points and 493 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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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