The two Republican presidential candidates from Florida are in the best position to win over GOP primary voters, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday.
Three-quarters of Republican voters said they could see themselves supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president, compared with 22% who said they could not. US Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida finds himself in similar good standing with the base — 74% said they could see themselves backing his candidacy, while only 15% couldn’t.
But it’s a particularly dramatic improvement for Bush. Back in March, just 49% of Republican voters said they could see themselves voting for him, compared with 42% who said they couldn’t. Altogether, that’s a 46-point swing in about three months.
When Republican voters are asked to pick a candidate, Bush also comes out ahead, with 22% of the vote. He’s trailed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (17%), who likely will enter the Republican field in the coming weeks, Rubio (14%), and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (11%).
Bush officially announced his candidacy for president a week ago, after nearly six months of exploring a candidacy. The poll bump also comes on the heels of his trip to Europe, in a trip meant to boost his foreign-policy credentials.
Rubio has also improved considerably from March, when GOP voters said they could see themselves voting for him by a 56-26 split. That’s a 29-point swing over the past three months.
Perhaps the biggest loser in the poll is US Sen. Rand Paul, who has seen his support dip over the past two months. In April, 59% of GOP voters said they could see themselves voting for him. Now, just 49% say the same.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and real-estate mogul Donald Trump are not in great shape among the base. Just more than one-third of GOP voters said they could see themselves voting for Christie, while two-thirds of Republican voters said they would not vote for Trump, who officially announced his candidacy last week.
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