Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sits atop the field of 2016 GOP presidential candidates in two polls released Thursday.
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll
, the GOP field currently looks like this:
- Rubio, 15 percent;
- Jeb Bush, 13 percent;
- Scott Walker, 11 percent;
- Ted Cruz, 9 percent;
- Rand Paul, 8 percent;
- Chris Christie, 7 percent;
- Mike Huckabee, 7 percent.
Also included were former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (3 percent); South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (2 percent); and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (1 percent).
Fourteen percent of the voters said they remain undecided. The poll carried a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points among Republicans.
"The youngest member of the GOP presidential posse moves to the front of the pack to challenge Hillary Clinton, whose position in her own party appears rock-solid," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "This is the kind of survey that shoots adrenaline into a campaign.
"Marco Rubio gets strong enough numbers and favorability ratings to look like a legit threat to Hillary Clinton."
The overall poll, which carried a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points, gave Clinton 45 percent of the votes to 43 percent for Rubio. Among other Republicans, Clinton's lead widened further:
- 45–40 percent over Christie, the governor of New Jersey;
- 46–42 percent over Paul, the Kentucky senator;
- 47–42 percent over Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor;
- 46–39 percent over Bush, the former Florida governor;
- 46–41 percent over Walker, the governor of Wisconsin;
- 48–41 percent over Cruz, the Texas senator.
Voters also said by a margin of 54 to 38 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, marking a lower score than the top Republican candidates received.
A separate survey from Fox News
shows Rubio leading the GOP pack with 13 percent support.
The rest of the field spreads out, with:
- Walker, 12 percent;
- Paul, 10 percent;
- Bush and Huckabee, 9 percent;
- Cruz, 8 percent;
- Carson and Christie, 6 percent;
- Donald Trump, 5 percent;
- John Kasick and Perry, 2 percent.
Jindal, Graham, George Pataki, and Santorum all polled with 1 percent each.
The Fox News poll showed Clinton also topping the GOP contenders, but Paul came closest in a matchup against Clinton, with 43 percent to Clinton's 46 percent support. Rubio polled with 42 percent.
The Fox News survey, conducted between April 19-21, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Meanwhile, the Quinnipiac survey shows Clinton far surpassed any potential challenger for her party's nomination, netting 60 percent of the 569 Democratic voters surveyed. Vice President Joe Biden received 10 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had 8 percent.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had 3 percent, and 14 percent were undecided. The Democratic side of the survey also carried a 4.1 percentage point margin of error.
The Quinnipiac poll also showed that there are some candidates whose party members say will not get their votes. Bush topped the "no way" list among Republicans, with 17 percent saying they definitely would not support him, followed by Christie with 16 percent, and 10 percent for Paul.
Clinton and Biden both scored 7 percent on the Democrats' "no way" list, the poll showed.
In other results, voters said, by 62 to 34 percent, that Clinton has strong leadership qualities, outscoring Republican candidates by margins of 10 percentage points or higher.
However, voters were divided, 47-47 percent, on whether she cares about their needs and problems. Paul scored best, by 43 to 35 percent, marking the highest score on that point among Republicans.
Those polled by Quinnipiac also gave Clinton a 50-45 percent approval rating on her job as secretary of state, but support a congressional investigation into her use of a private email server by 53-43 percent. However, they believe by 51 to 44 percent that the probe would be politically motivated rather than justified.
The voters also gave Clinton a split favorability rating of 46-47 percent. Rubio marked a positive score, of 35-25 percent, but other Republicans came out with negative or divided scores, including:
- 29-42 percent for Christie;
- 33-33 percent for Paul;
- 33-33 percent for Huckabee;
- 30-43 percent for Bush;
- 24-21 percent for Walker, with 54 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion;
- 25-30 percent for Cruz.
The telephone poll was conducted from April 16-21.
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