The latest on the presidential horse race.

Tag Archives: 2016 Republican Nomination

Trump Leads the Republicans in the New Hampshire Primary and Bloomberg and CBS National Polls

Donald Trump continues to lead the Republicans across three polls released today. In a New Hampshire primary poll by WMUR and the University of New Hampshire, Trump led his opponents by 12 points. In two national polls by Bloomberg and CBS News, Trump led by 11 points.


  • Donald Trump – 24%
  • Jeb Bush – 12%
  • Scott Walker – 11%


  • Donald Trump – 21%
  • Jeb Bush – 10%
  • Scott Walker – 8%
  • Mike Huckabee – 7%

CBS News

  • Donald Trump – 24%
  • Jeb Bush – 13%
  • Scott Walker – 10%
  • Mike Huckabee – 8%

Trump is polling well and across the United States. He continues to grow in popularity, as is evident with the results of these three separate and very distinct polls. In all three polls, Bush came in second with 12, 10, and 13 percent, while Walker came in third with 11, 8 and 10 percent. Trump’s momentum has yet to slow down and it is starting to look like he may actually win the Republican’s nomination.

Photo credit: WKRG.

Bush Leads all Republican Candidates

CNN and ORC International released a new poll detailing the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Leading the pack is Jeb Bush who is being trailed by Donald Trump. The poll had a margin of error of 5.5 percent.

As of late June, voters favored Bush who achieved 19 percent of the vote. Coming in second was Trump with 12 percent, third was Mike Huckabee with 8 percent, and various other candidates trailed behind him. 7 percent of voters were interested in someone else, 6 percent in none of the candidates, and 3 percent had no opinion at all.

In terms of major issues, 47 percent rated the economy as extremely important, while 41 percent said it wasn’t important.

Foreign policy grew in popularity. In a February poll, 28 percent saw it as extremely important, 39 percent very important, 25 percent moderately important, and 7 percent not that important. In June, the numbers increased to 32 percent saying it was an extremely important issue.

Healthcare remains a fairly important issue with 44 percent of Americans deeming it extremely important, 39 percent very important, 13 percent moderately important, and only 4 percent saying it isn’t that important.

Illegal immigration continues to be a middling issue with 30 percent claiming it was an extremely important issue and 12 percent saying that it isn’t that important.

Terrorism still commands a respectful following. 48 percent of Americans believe it is extremely important, while 5 percent do not.

Race relations and same-sex marriage were not considered important issues in comparison to the economy, foreign policy, and healthcare.

As it stands, Bush continues to be the most moderate candidate when compared to Trump and his blatant racism in regards to immigration policies and his frequent sideshow antics. The only other candidate with the potential to rise the rankings is Rand Paul, but he is struggling to gain popularity with voters.

Photo credit: Red State.

Fox News Poll: Chris Christie Back On Top of GOP Race

Fox News, 4/13-4/15

  • Christie: 15
  • Paul: 14
  • Bush: 14
  • Ryan: 9
  • Rubio: 8
  • Cruz: 7
  • Walker: 5
  • Perry: 5
  • Jindal: 2

It turns out the rumors of Chris Christie’s collapse may have been premature as a new Fox News poll shows the New Jersey Governor back atop the Republican race.

According to the poll, conducted between April 13 and April 15, sampling 384 registered voters, Christie leads the Republican pack with 15 percent of the vote. Christie had fallen off to as low as 8 percent before bouncing back to double-digits in March and now to the top of the survey results. Of course, this poll didn’t include Fox News host Mike Huckabee who has led most of the national polls since Christie’s Bridgegate collapse. Certainly, it’s still possible that Huckabee doesn’t run, but that seems less likely with every national and Iowa poll that the former Arkansas Governor leads.

Even without Huck in the race, Christie is hardly an overwhelming favorite. Right on his heels are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 14 percent. Paul has now seen 11-14 percent in four straight polls while Bush has now seen 13-14 percent in back-to-back surveys.

No other candidate managed to get into the double digits and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finished fourth with 9 percent of the vote after seeing 12 percent in the last two polls we’ve seen. Right behind him is Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 8 percent, the highest total he has seen since February.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is at 7 percent and has now seen 4-9 percent in five straight polls despite polling in double-digits for much of last year.

Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are tied with five percent apiece while Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal trails everyone with 2 percent.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Four-Way Tie For First in Latest Republican Primary Poll

PPP, 3/6-3/9
Huckabee: 18
Bush: 15
Paul: 14
Christie: 14
Cruz: 11
Rubio: 6
Walker: 5
Ryan: 5

The Republican race has at least eight candidates, depending on which poll you prefer, but it appears that the top challengers are separating from the longshot candidates in the last PPP poll.

The poll, conducted between March 6 and March 9, sampling 542 registered voters, found that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a slight edge over the Republican pack nationally with 18 percent of the vote. Since the poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percent, the race is a virtual tie among the top four finishers and far too close to call Mike Huckabee the frontrunner outright.

Coming in a close second is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 15 percent of the vote. Bush’s poll numbers, unlike most of the candidates, fluctuate significantly from poll to poll as he has seen as much as 18 percent and as little as 8 percent support since 2014 began.

Just a point behind Bush and just four points behind Huckabee are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 14 percent. Paul is coming off of a big win after placing first in the Conservative Political Action Committee Straw Poll while Christie’s numbers appear to have leveled out in the low-double digits after his Bridgegate scandal. Christie has now finished with 12-14 percent in six straight national polls. Meanwhile, Paul has seen a jump from 11 percent in December and January to 14 percent in two of the last three national polls.

Even Texas Senator Ted Cruz, placing fifth in this poll, is still very relevant with 11 percent of the vote. Of course, that’s the second-highest percentage he’s seen nationally since December and 8-11 percent appears to be his current range.

The other candidates, however, don’t look like they have much of a chance. After running off several double-digit finishes, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan has come back down to earth, earning just 5 percent of the vote. He has now seen single-digit support in four straight polls with this being his lowest point. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker also received 5 percent but that’s been the norm for him since the fall.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio finished with 6 percent and also seems to have plateaued at 6-10 percent.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Mike Huckabee Emerges as Republican Frontrunner

McClatchy/Marist, 2/4-2/9

  • Huckabee: 13
  • Christie: 13
  • Rubio: 12
  • Ryan: 9
  • Paul: 9
  • Bush: 8
  • Walker: 7
  • Cruz: 5

Since the beginning of this year, we have seen two major changes in the Republican primary race. First, Chris Christie’s campaign is very much on the slide and has opened the door for a new candidate to emerge as the pack leader. Second, Mick Huckabee has been included in the Republican polls and has now finished first in three straight.

According to a new McClatchy/Marist poll, conducted between February 4 and February 9, sampling 403 registered Republicans, former Arkansas Governor leads the Republican nomination race with 13 percent of the vote. A PPP poll and CNN poll conducted over the last couple of weeks also found Huck as the leader in the race.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also received 13 percent but the two have clearly different stories. While Huckabee is very much on the rise and emerging as a legitimate threat to capture the nomination, Christie’s numbers have slid consistently since November and the second-term governor is going to be embroiled in a federal investigation for a while.

Another candidate who looked to be a non-factor but is once again emerging as a potential nominee is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. When polling first started in early 2013, Rubio had led most of the polls with close to 20 percent of the vote. He had since fallen to single digits but finished third in this latest poll with 12 percent. He has now seen double-digit support in three of the last four national polls and is showing signs of life once again.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is seeing the opposite trend, falling from double-digits into the single-digits. After seeing a consistent 11-13 percent for most of 2013, Ryan finished fourth in this poll with 9 percent of the vote and has now seen single-digit support in three straight polls. Those three are also the ones that have included Mike Huckabee. Without Huck in the race, Ryan’s numbers are much better.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also received 9 percent in the poll but has been polling at 11-14 percent consistently since the fall so it’s fairly unlikely that he has actually fallen off.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush received just 8 percent of the vote and has seen some of the most inconsistent polling numbers of any candidate. In six polls conducted in 2014, Bush has received 8 percent, 11 percent, 18 percent, 14 percent, 9 percent, and 8 percent. That also has a lot to do with whether Huckabee and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are included in the poll. Walker finished right behind Bush with 7 percent, by far his best result since polling began.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished dead last with 5 percent of the vote, his worst showing since polling began.

If Not Chris Christie, Paul Ryan is 2016 GOP Frontrunner

NBC/Marist, 1/12-1/14
GOP, without Christie

  • Ryan: 15
  • Paul: 11
  • Bush: 11
  • Rubio: 10
  • Santorum: 7
  • Cruz: 6
  • Perry: 6
  • Walker: 5
  • Jindal: 5

There haven’t been a lot of polls done since Chris Christie’s multitude of scandals but, from the ones we have seen, the New Jersey Governor has plummeted in the general election polls and is no longer leading the pack in GOP primary polling. According to an NBC News/Marist poll, if Chris Christie was not in the race, Paul Ryan would be the de facto Republican frontrunner for the 2016 nomination.

The poll, conducted between January 12 and January 14, sampling 385 registered Republicans, found that if Chris Christie were not in the race, Paul Ryan would lead the GOP pack with 15 percent of the vote. In the latest GOP primary poll, that did include Christie, Ryan was tied with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for first place in a very close race.

Without Christie in the race, however, Rand Paul trails Ryan with 11 percent of the vote. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also received 11 percent of the vote and could be seen by many as a moderate, non-Tea Party-affiliated candidate if Christie were to drop off or drop out.

Interestingly, Christie’s absence would heavily help Florida Senator Marco Rubio who received 10 percent of the vote among respondents. Rubio has not received double-digit support in any poll taken since November.

The rest of the pack would remain on the outside looking in, despite Christie’s votes being up for grabs. According to the poll, 26 percent of Republican primary voters would be undecided if Christie wasn’t in the race.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum received 7 percent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Rick Petty both received 6 percent, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received 5 percent, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal received 4 percent.

(Image courtesy of Tobyotter)

Chris Christie Keeps Lead in GOP Poll Following Scandal

NBC News/Marist, 1/12-1/14

  • Christie: 16
  • Ryan: 12
  • Paul: 9
  • Bush: 8
  • Rubio: 7
  • Perry: 6
  • Santorum: 5
  • Cruz: 5
  • Walker: 4
  • Jindal: 3
  • Undecided: 25

Despite being linked to several scandals over the last two weeks, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has maintained his lead in the Republican nomination race, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.

The poll, conducted between January 12 and 14, sampling 385 registered Republican voters, found that Chris Christie remains in the lead in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination with 16 percent of the vote, four points ahead of second-place finisher Paul Ryan. Christie had been at a similar 16-19 percent over the last three polls in December so he does not appear to have taken a big electoral hit as of yet. In the last Marist poll in December, Christie had 18 percent of the vote.

While the news was good for Christie, it was even better for Paul Ryan who has suddenly leapfrogged the other candidates and finds himself in second place with 12 percent of the vote. The Wisconsin Congressman creeped up from 9-10 percent in most December and fall polls to 12 percent in the last two polls we’ve seen while the other candidates’ support keeps being watered down by the large number of potential candidates in the race.

The news was worst for Tea Party candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Paul, who has been very close to Christie in most polls, found himself with just 9 percent of the vote after receiving 12 percent in Marist’s December poll and more than 15 percent in November. Ted Cruz fared even worse as the Texas Senator placed eighth in the poll with a mere 5 percent. He had received 10 percent in the last Marist poll and as much as 14 percent in three other December polls.

Jeb Bush finished fourth in the poll with 8 percent, Marco Rubio trailed him with 7 percent, Rick Perry received 6 percent, Rick Santorum received 5 percent, Scott Walker received 4 percent, and Bobby Jindal received 3 percent. In the last poll in December, 21 percent of voters said they prefer someone else or are undecided. In this poll, 25 percent of GOP voters now say they are undecided.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

2016 GOP Nomination: Favorable/Unfavorable Trends


Very Liberal

Somewhat Liberal


Somewhat Conservative

Very Conservative

Chris Christie

32% favorable





Rand Paul






Mike Huckabee






Ted Cruz






Jeb Bush






Last week we looked at December polling trends in the 2016 GOP nomination race but voter polls only tell us so much this far out from the primaries. By the time the race rolls around from state-to-state, many of the candidates may have already dropped out of the race while some who are doing well in polls may decide not to run after all. This is why favorable ratings can be so important in understanding the electoral landscape. They don’t tell us who people prefer to vote for but they do suggest which candidates people would be willing to vote for – or not willing to vote for.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the presumed frontrunner in the GOP race but a lot has been made about his “moderate” label that may turn off conservative voters. A December PPP poll confirmed that as Christie had just a 34 percent favorable rating and 39 unfavorable among self-identified Very Conservative voters. He does, however, have a solid 53 favorable rating among Somewhat Conservative voters and 57 among moderate voters. He even has a 44 favorable rating and 24 unfavorable rating among Somewhat Liberal voters, suggesting that he would be a strong candidate in a general election.

While Rand Paul doesn’t appeal to moderates, owning just a 41 percent favorable rating among Moderate voters, he has an off-the-charts 72 percent favorable rating among Very Conservative voters and 56 among Somewhat Conservative voters. More interestingly, the libertarian has a 63 percent favorable rating among Very Liberal voters.

Ted Cruz, a fellow Tea Partier, does not share Paul’s popularity. He has a solid 58 percent favorable rating among Very Conservative voters but just a 38 among Somewhat Conservative voters and a 30 among Moderates.

Jeb Bush has been a middle-of-the-pack candidate and received middle-of-the-pack numbers. He has a 50 percent favorable rating among Very Conservative voters, 52 among Somewhat Conservative voters, and 48 among Moderates.

Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, is by far the most liked candidate in the race. He has an 80 percent favorable rating among Very Conservative voters, 65 among Somewhat Conservative voters, and even a 68 percent among Very Liberal voters. He only has a 41 percent favorable among Moderates, however, and a 40 among Somewhat Liberal voters.

All in all, Christie remains the frontrunner but Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee have very interesting demographic splits that can change the entire landscape of primaries, particularly in states where anyone can vote in the GOP primary regardless of party affiliation.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

2016 Republican Nomination December Polling Trends





Fox News

Chris Christie





Ted Cruz





Rand Paul





Paul Ryan





Jeb Bush





Mike Huckabee


If the 2016 primaries and elections were held today, we know that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee Democratic nominee and would likely defeat any Republican candidate not named Chris Christie. What we don’t know is whether the Republicans are ready to nominate someone like Christie who has been labeled with the dreaded “moderate” label.

We’ve taken a look at all four major 2016 polls released in December to get a better sense of where candidates are. We removed the highest vote total and lowest vote total and averaged the remaining two poll results. Keep in mind, however, that many of the Republican primaries are “winner-take-all” which means delegates are not divided up based on percentage but are entirely allocated to the winner so national polls can only show us so much.

Chris Christie: 17-18 percent

Christie is the lead dog in the very crowded race and has a decent margin on Ted Cruz but also faces high unfavorable ratings among conservative Republicans. This week we found that Christie is the least popular Republican in Iowa where the first and often trend-setting caucus takes place.

Ted Cruz: 12-13 percent

Cruz lagged significantly behind Rand Paul but has leapfrogged the fellow Tea Partier in the last month. Even though he has been an outspoken Senator that gets plenty of air time, many still don’t have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him so we will get a better sense of where the polarizing Texas Senator stands once he spends more time on the national stage in 2014.

Rand Paul: 11 percent

A couple of months ago we were talking about Paul as the biggest threat to Christie and, while that may still be true, the Kentucky Senator’s poll numbers have taken a hit of late. He was polling at 16-20 percent between September and November.

Paul Ryan: 10-11 percent

Ryan has seen a nice image spike of late after leading the budget negotiations in December. That may or may not be a good thing when it comes to appealing to the conservative base but we’ve seen Ryan with the highest favorable rating in Iowa and he is much better known than many of the other candidates after running on Romney’s ticket in 2012.

Jeb Bush: 10-11 percent

Bush is possibly the least exciting name among double-digit vote getters and hasn’t had much of a national presence since leaving office. The former Florida Governor has been polling around 10-11 percent consistently since the fall and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Mike Huckabee: 13 percent

Huckabee’s name has only recently begun making it onto polls and the 2008 presidential candidate and winner of the Iowa caucus could be a game changer in the polls. His Fox News job and upcoming news site The Huckabee Post will allow him to reach millions of voters regularly before he’s even jumped into the race.

Ultimately, Chris Christie looks like the odds-on nominee in a very crowded field. As the campaign season moves along, however, we will undoubtedly see many candidates drop off and that could potentially unite more conservative voters behind a single candidate rather than behind three or four.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush Drop in Latest 2016 GOP Poll

YouGov/Economist, 12/14-12/16

  • Christie: 18
  • Paul: 13
  • Huckabee: 13
  • Ryan: 11
  • Cruz: 7
  • Bush: 7
  • Walker: 7
  • Rubio: 6

With many Republican voters opting for alternative candidates to the current “mainstream GOP pack,” a new YouGov/Economist poll shows that four candidates, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Mike Huckabee, are still at double-digit support while every other candidate, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker, has fallen significantly behind.

The poll, conducted between December 14 and December 16, sampling 274 adults, found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remains the Republican frontrunner to close out 2013 as 18 percent of respondents said he was their choice for the 2016 GOP nominee. In five polls taken in December, Christie finished first with 16-19 percent of the vote in each one.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has seen his support wane in recent months, finished second with 13 percent of the vote. In three previous December polls, Paul was at 11-14 percent but had fallen behind candidates like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tied Paul in the poll with 13 percent of the vote. Huckabee has only recently been mentioned among likely 2016 GOP candidates and, with a Fox News show and a soon-to-be-launched news site called The Huckabee Post, has a great ability to reach voters without having to start a campaign.

Wisconsin Congressman and former Mitt Romney running mate Paul Ryan finished fourth in the poll with 11 percent, the only other candidate to garner double-digits in this latest survey. Ryan has been polling at 10-13 percent in all of the other December polls as well.

The poll couldn’t have been great news for Texas Senator Ted Cruz who, after garnering 12-14 percent in three previous December polls, found his support watered down by increasing Huckabee and Scott Walker support. Just 7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Cruz, the same as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who had been an early favorite to challenge the party’s elite, finished dead last with just 6 percent of the vote. Fifteen percent of respondents said they are undecided.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)