It doesn’t look like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) path to the White House will run through Iowa.
Bush, widely viewed as a presidential front-runner on the Republican side, scored just 5% in the first primary state in a new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday.
The survey found Bush in seventh place among likely caucus goers — behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Walker, with 21%, is by far the leader in the poll. Rubio and Paul are tied for second place with 13% apiece. The large field of candidates makes it difficult for any one candidate to gain a clear majority of the vote.
“The first few months of the Iowa Republican caucus race show Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as the early leader. US Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, on the strength of an impressive candidacy roll out, has moved from the bottom of the pack into a tie for second,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement.
Brown partially attributed Bush’s low standing in the poll to Iowa voters who view Bush as insufficiently conservative. Bush has staked out relatively moderate positions on issues like immigration reform and the Common Core education standards, especially compared to some of his GOP rivals.
“More of those surveyed view Bush unfavorably than favourably, compared to Walker’s 5-1 positive ratio. And 45 per cent say Bush is not conservative enough. It’s among the GOP conservative base that Bush finds himself trailing Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul,” Brown continued.
However, Iowa may not be crucial to Bush’s prospects in 2016. Though the state votes first in the presidential primary, it has a mixed track record of supporting the candidate who ultimately becomes the nominee. In 2012, Iowa backed former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), and in 2008, it backed Huckabee; neither won the nomination.
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