2016 POLL: Marco Rubio has surged 'to the front of the pack'

Marco Rubio Republican Leadership SummitDarren McCollester/Getty ImagesRepublican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 17, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday shows Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has gained momentum since launching his presidential campaign on April 13 and is now leading the field of likely Republican contenders.

“This is the kind of survey that shoots adrenaline into a campaign,” Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Tim Malloy said of Rubio’s numbers in a statement accompanying the poll.

The poll showed Rubio with the support of 15% of Republican primary voters. Second place in the poll went to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who was at 13%. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was the only other potential GOP hopeful who was in double digits in the poll with the support of 11% of Republican primary voters. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was at 9%, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who came in with 8%, rounded out the top five in the poll.

Quinnipiac’s poll also found Rubio would have the best performance against likely Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. It showed Clinton would get 45% of the vote in a general election compared to 43% for Rubio. No

Clinton was firmly ahead of her potential Democratic challengers in the poll with the support of 60% of the party’s primary voters. Vice President Joe Biden came in a distant second at 10%.

In his statement, Malloy said the poll indicated Rubio was emerging as Clinton’s top challenger from the Republican primary field.

“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,” Malloy said.

Read the full results of the poll here.

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