The Republican Field

As of October 2015, Donald Trump leads his rivals by a notable margin. One in four (25%) likely

Republican primary voters say they would like to see Trump as the GOP’s nominee in 2016. Sixteen

percent of likely primary voters report that they would prefer Ben Carson to be the GOP’s

nominee, while 13% say they would most like Carly Fiorina to be the party’s standard-bearer.

Roughly one in ten likely primary voters would prefer Jeb Bush (11%) or Marco Rubio (9%) to

emerge from the primary as the nominee. Ted Cruz (5%), Mike Huckabee (5%), John Kasich (4%),

Chris Christie (3%), and former-candidate Scott Walker (3%) garner substantially less support

from likely Republican primary voters.

Although Trump currently leads the crowded GOP field, his appeal may be limited due to the

relatively high number of likely Republican primary voters who view him negatively. While more

than six in ten (61%) likely primary voters have a favorable view of Trump, 38% hold unfavorable

opinions of him. Bush faces a similar dilemma. Although six in ten (60%) likely Republican primary

voters have a favorable view of Bush, 36% view him unfavorably. A majority (56%) of Republican

primary voters have a favorable impression of Rubio, while less than one-third (31%)

view him unfavorably. However, more than one in ten (13%) Republican primary voters report

being unfamiliar with Rubio. Cruz is in a somewhat similar position, although he is not viewed

as positively as Rubio. Half (50%) of Republican primary voters express a favorable view of

Cruz, while roughly one-third (35%) have an unfavorable view, and 16% say they are not familiar

with him or offer no opinion of him.

Concerns about a Bush/Clinton Dynasty

Although Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton each entered the 2016 campaign with considerable assets,

their famous names may not be among them. Most (54%) Americans say that electing another

president from the “Bush” or “Clinton” family would be bad for the country, while 45% disagree.

In the primary campaign season, Bush may face greater obstacles than Clinton in overcoming his

last name. More than six in ten (61%) Republicans—including 64% of likely Republican primary

voters—and nearly seven in ten (69%) Tea Party members say that electing another Bush or Clinton

would be bad for the country. Fewer than half (42%) of Democrats—including 39% of likely

Democratic primary voters—say that electing another president from the Bush or Clinton family

would be a bad thing for the country, while most Democrats (57%) disagree.

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