May 6th, 2014
07:39 AM ET
9 years ago

Jeb Bush edges up, Hillary Clinton slightly slides, in CNN 2016 poll

Washington (CNN) - She's still the overwhelming front runner in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but according to a new national poll Hillary Clinton's support has slightly deteriorated since the beginning of the year.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday morning also indicates that while the hunt for the Republican nomination remains wide open at this very early point, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is now tied with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at the top of a crowded list of potential contenders.

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bbbb poll

According to the poll, 64% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the party say they most likely would support the former secretary of state for the nomination if Clinton decides to make a second run for the White House. That's down six-percentage points from January, when seven in ten said they'd back Clinton. Nineteen percent say they are likely to support a Democratic presidential candidate who's more conservative than Clinton, up four points from January, with 13% saying they'd back a candidate more liberal than Clinton, up three points from the beginning of the year.

"Clinton is still in a commanding position, but the poll suggests that some rank and file Democrats are shopping for an alternative but have not found one yet in the list of potential candidates offered to them in other polls," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Clinton has said she'll decide by the end of the year whether she'll launch another bid for the presidency. Until then, Clinton, who stepped down as America's top diplomat early last year, constantly remains in the media spotlight.

Hillary Clinton steps further into campaign politics

"She has been in the news non-stop and so people are seeing her more and more as a politician and less as secretary of state, so that appears to have cost her a bit," says CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"Enough to broaden the field of potential challengers? Highly doubtful, but if she drops more as the year goes on it might start more of a conversation in the party," King adds.

Free-for-all for GOP nomination

A familiar name is also at the top of the GOP list. Thirteen percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they are likely to support Bush, who stood at 9% support in CNN's last poll, which was conducted in early March. Bush is tied with Paul, who edged down three points from March.

One point back is Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, who also dropped three points from CNN's last survey. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential contender, is at 10%, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 9% and longtime Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a 2012 White House candidate, at 8%.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each stand at 7%, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 6%. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate who battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary calendar, is at 2%. Taking into account the poll's sampling error, everyone other than Santorum is within striking distance of the top spot.

Crossfire: Santorum says Paul not leader of GOP

The poll also asked Republicans for their second choice for the nomination.

"But the pattern of back-up picks is just as murky as the preference for the top spot, says Holland. "If Bush doesn't run – something his own mother would like to see- no single candidate benefits, with Christie, Ryan and Rubio all picking up two points of support."

What if Christie doesn't run due to the George Washington Bridge controversy?

The poll indicates Bush would be the biggest beneficiary, but he gains just three points of support with Christie on the sidelines. Paul is the biggest beneficiary if Cruz doesn't run (a net gain of three points for Paul with Cruz out of the race), and Paul returns the favor, with Cruz gaining three points if Paul is not in the race. Cruz, however, is not the obvious heir apparent to the Paul voters, as some of Paul's supporters would turn instead to Walker, Huckabee or Rubio, all of whom gain two points with Paul out of the nomination hunt.

"If Ryan stays on Capitol Hill to polish his portfolio on an important committee, Paul and Bush gain the most," Holland adds. "It all adds up to a tangled - and very hypothetical - picture of what may come in 2015 and 2016."

In its early stages, the race for the Republican nomination already has a different feel than previous nomination battles the past couple of decades.

"It's just a free for all in a party known for having a relatively orderly succession process. Most interesting to me is the top of the pack – Rand Paul and three guys who for different reasons might not run – Bush, Ryan and Huckabee. Add them up and that's 35% in this poll. Which makes a wide open race even more fun and unpredictable," King adds.

One more caveat: With the start of the 2016 primary and caucus calendar still more than a year and a half away, polls at this early stage in a presidential cycle are often influenced by name recognition.

Complete coverage: 2014 midterm elections

The CNN poll was conducted May 2-4 by ORC International, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's for questions regarding the Democratic and GOP presidential nominations is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The dream team. In other words, you have to be asleep to believe it. Then it becomes a nightmare.

    May 6, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    -neither Jeb, nor Rand worth for a dime. They do not even qualify for cook jobs in WH. Period. USA can NOT affor why rethuglicans nor their War-Mongerism. Yes, Hillary16.

    May 6, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |

    Just more speculation from a poll ?

    May 6, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So this story is just a cover to inform the GOP Ignorati that as of May 6th, 2014 Hillary is down a few points in a poll about a presidential race that no one has yet to enter.
    Got it.

    May 6, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    -Yes, Obamacare is saving millions of people in USA–Harvard Study. Latest news.

    May 6, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. yoshimoto

    Why would the Republicans EVER push for Jeb Bush – he comes with so much baggage from his brother. George Jr. destroyed the economy and pushed us into the GREAT RECESSION which we are still in. All good jobs are GONE. We need someone who is a true leader like Christie – Christie says it like it is and that will resonant with voters on both sides. Bush is okay but he is no strong leader and this smells like the lobbyists are behind this. Maybe Scott Walker. If you think Christie has baggage with one little traffic jam he did not cause, Bush has 100,000 that with two wars and a wrecked economy. I think the Dems are actually pushing for Bush. The NY Times just wrote a nice article on him.

    May 6, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. Takeshi Kovacs

    Jeebus help us all if Rand Paul ends up in the White House...

    May 6, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Boo

    Not another Bush!!!!!! Not after the last debacle!!!

    May 6, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. Tarzan

    What a ridiculous group of nominees. Hillary is a shoe-in for 2016. I mean, Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution. There is no way another Bush will be voted in as president since we are still cleaning up the last Bush's mess.

    May 6, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. king

    another bush to hoard money to the one percenters by sucking more money from our economy to invest in china, and a stand by yourself, even though everyone is not standing on the same platform kind of guy. these are the folks the repubs have to offer the american people. the last Bush shopped like a drunken sailor and put it all on the credit card for future generations to pay the bill. he also pushed money to the one percanters and allow a couple of folks to tank our economy. an ideologue like Paul is the extreme going the other way, no government intervention, while other governments like china, are and japan are investing none stop in their countries to make their countries more powerful and economically better than ours.

    May 6, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "but according to a new national poll Hillary Clinton's support has slightly deteriorated since the beginning of the year."


    May 6, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. Ian

    I can't believe America would elect 'W"s brother after all the damage 'W' did to America.

    May 6, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  13. Jack bin Fartin

    She will be nominated and elected because we need to have our first woman president!

    May 6, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Taking into account the poll's sampling error, everyone other than Santorum is within striking distance of the top spot."

    Yeah, well. 13% isn't exactly "top spot" .... Add Mr. Ben Ghazi in the polling mix and see what his numbers are, eh?

    Ben Ghazi 2016

    May 6, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Regardless of who the GOP nominee is, HRC will wipe the floor with them. The mainstream of the GOP is dead so any moderates won't survive the primary. So Bush can kiss any chance of winning the nomination goodbye.

    May 6, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. Robert constant

    The owner of the CNN/ORC polling company is a big time Tea Party contributor. That raises serious questions about the objectivity and legitimacy of select polls.

    May 6, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. Sol



    May 6, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  18. Robert constant

    Who do you want? Carl Rove's protege or Edward Snowden's defender?

    May 6, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. Name. willard

    Keep out of clinton hillary 2016

    May 6, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. dave

    It's not good choices, you have some right wing extremists, and some moderate democrats, basically what you have now. It means things will stay about the same, even after the election, more gridlock, doing nothing, more of the proven failed supply side economics, more proven failed bad trade deals. They might change the faces around a bit, the names, but the proven failed policies will stay about the same. The same type of politicians, the same proven failed policies, will just get more failure. No change is possible, we are locked into a path of slow, gradual, decline and failure, untll we no longer exist as a major economy. I guess there is hope, miracles do happen, maybe just the hard work of Americans will help things along, despite the governments proven failed economic policies, and proven failed trade policies. One thing you can count on, Americans do work hard, despite what government does, it's just their nature, the will to survive. It would take alot to beat them down, but it is possible, over time. Huge gains have been made by moderate democrats and right wing extremists in destroying American workers and the middle class.

    May 6, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  21. waitaminute

    Remember how bill Clinton won? Less than 50% of the vote.

    May 6, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. ShawnDH

    Republicans are toast in 2016. It may be the biggest Democratic wave election in history.

    May 6, 2014 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  23. Just Sayin'

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    May 6, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. ShawnDH

    waitaminute wrote: "Remember how bill Clinton won? Less than 50% of the vote."

    And? He smashed the Republicans.

    May 6, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. The Dude

    Libertarian party for me. Sure, they won't win but I will feel better knowing I didn't vote for Hillary or another Bush

    May 6, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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