Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has emerged as the "momentum candidate" as the possible GOP presidential hopeful is now tied with Jeb Bush and Ben Carson in a new Public Policy Polling survey
of North Carolina voters.
All three men received 14 percent to lead the pack of likely candidates as interest in the contest rises along with speculation over who will actually run from an increasingly crowded Republican field.
Former Fox News host and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee earned 13 percent while Ted Cruz and Rand Paul received 6 percent, Chris Christie 5 percent, and Rick Perry 3 percent. The frontrunner, PPP said, was Mitt Romney, who got 16 percent, but who has since decided that he will not make a third White House run, according to ABC News
The pollsters noted in an analysis of the swing-state results that Bush was struggling the most.
"This new poll also provides evidence that Jeb Bush has stumbled out of the gate a little bit since announcing in December that he would likely run for president. Before Bush's announcement he had a +44 net favorability rating with North Carolina Republicans at 61/17. In the last 8 weeks that's dropped to just a +13 spread at 45/32," the pollsters said.
"Although Bush has dropped across the board his most pronounced decline has been with 'very conservative' voters, among whom he's gone from 63/19 to 40/37. That may not bode well for how things will go for Bush as his record is further scrutinized," they added.
Also taking a dip was Christie, PPP noted of the New Jersey governor. "He was at 14 percent in early December, but has now dropped all the way down to 5 percent. We've been finding similar trouble for him in other polling recently," they wrote in a release
that also looked at Democrat candidates.
They added: "Carson and Walker continue to have relatively low name recognition. But they're quite popular among the voters who are familiar with them. Carson's favorability is 52/9 and Walker's is 47/11."
Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads possible Democrat opponents handily at 54 percent, outpacing Vice President Joe Biden (18 percent), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (12 percent) and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders (3 percent), the PPP pollsters said.
"Everyone is within 2 points of where they were on our December poll with the exception of Warren, who's gained 5 points," they added, noting that "Clinton is over 50 percent with liberals, moderates, women, whites, African-Americans, and voters within every age group falling short of that mark only with men."
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