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Wall Street Journal poll: Jeb Bush still leads, Marco Rubio has broader support

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Jeb Bush may be the front-runner in the Republican presidential field for 2016, despite not yet officially a candidate, but fellow Floridian Marco Rubio is gaining steadily, and enjoys broader support with primary voters.

According to a newly released Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Bush continues to be the leading GOP candidate, with 23 percent of respondents calling him their first choice. Rubio is second, receiving 18 percent.

However, three-quarters of Republican primary voters (75 percent) say they would vote for Rubio even if he was not a first choice, a number higher than any rival. Bush was also at 70 percent, within the poll’s 6.19 percent margin of error.

Although Rubio’s big boost came directly from his April campaign launch, the Republican field is still largely unsettled and without a clear frontrunner.

Scott Walker was also a popular choice, with 61 percent of respondents saying they could see themselves voting for the Wisconsin governor, who, like Bush, has not yet announced a presidential bid.

Seven other GOP hopefuls were polled, and each falling behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul fared best against the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

While the polling numbers are good news for Rubio, Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald notes that his camp has been downplaying other polls showing a similar post-announcement surge.

Image via The Wall Street Journal
Image via The Wall Street Journal

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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