By Drew MacKenzie
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the strongest potential GOP contender against the likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll.
The Public Policy Polling survey shows that Bush only trails Clinton by a margin of 3 points, 47-44 percent while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is close behind with a 4-point deficit, 46 percent to 42 percent.
Clinton, who has not yet decided whether she will run, leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 47-42 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by 48-43 percent.
The former secretary of state is well clear of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by an 8-point gap, 48-40 percent, and she has an 11-point margin over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 51-40 percent.
“At this point, the contrast for 2016 is pretty stark, Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “If Hillary Clinton runs, Democrats are favored to keep control of the White House. If she doesn’t run, voters are more inclined to vote for the GOP nominee.”
When it comes to who is the most favored of the potential Republican candidates for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field with 18 percent support compared to 15 percent for Bush, 14 percent for both Christie and Paul, and 11 percent for Cruz.
Rubio received 6 percent while Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 5 percent each, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had 4 percent.
The survey was conducted among 1,152 registered voters from March 6 to 9 and has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
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