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. Barney

    Santorum doesn't know what he's talking about. Rand Paul is the only real American candidate that believes in real American values. The Constitution is ironclad and those who think Mr. Paul shouldn't be elected are simply not American. Ron Paul and Rand Paul are simply the best for our country. They will bring character and honor back to the white house and the culture America. It is about the Constitution. In the past several administrations, the Constitution has been something our government has hidden behind and used in pep rally's but never actually adhered to. It's a shame. If there is any sense left in America, Mr. Paul will get the nod. Or else we will have the EXACT same crap going on, and it will get worse. It's about freedom, civil liberties, the bill of rights, and the constitution of the Unites States of America. It is not about the smoke and mirrors and sales pitches all of our foolish behinds believe when we see it on TV. Wake up America! Read! Educate yourselves on everything! If you do this, the inevitable conclusion is that Mr. Paul is the guy.

    May 6, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. Barney

    Ron Paul for President, Rand Paul for Vice President. Period.

    May 6, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. Tony in Maine

    There's still hope for Darrell "Let's have some more Benghazi hearings punctuated with an IRS hearing and the occasional Fast and Furious hearing" Issa.

    If he's late, it's because he's out trying out someone's Maserati.

    May 6, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. Barney

    Rand Paul believes in the one thing no other candidate believes in: The US Constitution. Why? Because it is ironclad in all times, for all times. The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, Civil Liberties, and individual freedom. That's what Rand Paul (and his father) are about. He'll bring character and honor back to the White House. Others are simply shallow actors and run like water: In the easiest direction. When you follow the Constitution there is little room for liars. This is exactly why several administrations and governments go over, around, and sometimes right through it. They are morally corrupt. Period.

    May 6, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. JC

    I would not vote for any of them. I am so sick of Bush and Clinton Name .. Where is the New blood?

    May 6, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama


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

    Good morning!
    How interesting that the first paragraph of an article regarding Paul and Bush talks instead about Hillary and her rankig in the polls.
    CNN is not only keeping to its' narrative but also keeping The Ignorati abreast of the effectiveness of their Benghazi-derp.
    I like your "Ben Ghazi 2016" BTW.

    May 6, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Marie MD

    @barney, thanks for the laugh this morning. The two Paul losers to the rescue? LOL
    I don't think the Constitution would be followed to the letter by those who originally signed it. They were not religious nuts to begin with and any document signed then it's being abuse by the right for their shove it down your throat tactics Nd twisting it to their demented beliefs.
    As far as honor to the WH? Really, randy who would NOT have signed the Civil Rights Act? Randy whose goons took down a woman right smack in front of him and he just jumped into his SUV? That randy? Please!

    May 6, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. John

    Ran "elf on a shelf" Paul is unelectable and unfit for the position. He is great at waiving the flag in your face and talking about the constitution as a distraction for his inept ideas. He does not have a grasp on reality and lacks the integrity needed for the office. More about politics, little or nothing about being a leader.

    May 6, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Peace

    Please CNN will you stop giving GOP more pressure. The more they see these kind of polls the more they panic to find anything dirty to throw to Hillary. She is a very, very tough woman and won't be shaken by anyone. I hope they are aware of this.

    May 6, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. Tony in Maine

    @Barney – not legal or a good idea were it. Both need a serious dose of reality to correct a systemic inbalance.

    May 6, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Aw, So!,
    The Plot Thickens! The Liars are figuring and the Figures are lying! Around and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows. It's still a way bit to early to predict who will be the next president. Now I've tolld you a time or two, your next president is going to be Sargent Snorkel and you next vice president is going to be Mammy Yokum. You know them as Chris Christi and Sarah Palin! Note of consquense. Any body that get's a shoe thrown at them is out, period. Also other note of conquense. If you like your nanny sorry but your nanny is on permanent hiatus. You will have to be your own nanny.

    May 6, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I certainly hope that we're treated to the usual C-list lineup of comedians, actors, singers, mimes, and other performers that the GOPeeing Teatards put forth as candidates the last presidential election.
    I wonder if Herman "Where-are-the-White-women-at?" Cain will grace the stage once again?
    Seems like most everybody else is back for a repeat performance.

    May 6, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I'd vote for Bush before I would ever vote for "If I were around back then I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act. Or businesses should be allowed to choose whom they serve."

    An eye doctor from KY with no background in law.

    Whatever at least he looks like the rest of them and to a great many that's all that matters.

    May 6, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. memo2

    Folks please no more Bush we have enough already, and Hilary Clinton, I only can said she never was honest with us.

    May 6, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Rick

    With the current Admin. having outspent " A L L " previous Admins. combined, how can any thinking adult say, Pres. Bush (Jr.) spent us into our current problems. Also 7 out of 8 of his years, were boom years. It`s time for the adults to take over again in Washington.

    May 6, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    PLEASE run Jeb Bush for President. His motto can and will be "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

    May 6, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. shant happenin

    Jeb hahahh Bush hahahahhahahahh C hah N ahahha N hahhahha.... propping up Jeb because they know the GOP is the power house going into mid terms and 2016 hahahahahahahahahhahah and they prop up JEB because there is no difference b/n him and Hillary.

    Go back to what you're good at C N N... grief and tragedy.

    May 6, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. shant happenin

    pretty soon C N N polls will say "In first place it's Jeb... in third place it's Santorum... in forth we have Rubio"

    and they will just 'forget' to mention Paul is in second. Plenty examples of this happening in 2012 to be found on you-tube. Just type in Paul... media fraud.

    May 6, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. niles caldwell

    While Bush sounds interesting I would never ever vote for a tea party candidate. Rand Paul would never get my vote he's too polarizing and this country has to much of that going on right now.

    May 6, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Queen Amadela

    This former republican can support Rand Paul, but would vote another Clinton into office before another Bush.

    Hear that GOP? Get it together or lose another one!

    May 6, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    Someone posted the following the other day, and it bears repeating – OFTEN:

    Every time a bush is in the White House, they start at least one war.

    May 6, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. shant happenin

    John... I'd bet you work for a company that relies on the Ponzi scheme that is our economy to get by. Military industrial complex perhaps? Banking?

    You're not so bright, you had better hope that a PAUL is elected... flash back to your history books. If you think things are going to be all peaches and cream if either Jeb or Hillary is elected, you should probably refresh yourself on the years 1859-1860. It's like that.... and go read Common Sense by T. Paine and Unintended Consequences by J. Ross while you're at it.

    May 6, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. mike

    John... I'd bet you work for a company that relies on the Ponzi scheme that is our economy to get by. Military industrial complex perhaps? Banking?

    You're not so bright, you had better hope that a PAUL is elected... flash back to your history books. If you think things are going to be all peaches and cream if either Jeb or Hillary is elected, you should probably refresh yourself on the years 1859-1860. It's like that.... and go read Common Sense by T. Paine and Unintended Consequences by J. Ross while you're at it.

    May 6, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Shawn Irwin

    The best choice is none of the above . . . . we need a third party in a bad way. That is the only way to get REAL change, because the two existing parties are so much alike it is pitiful. Within these two parties, the plutocrats win, no matter who is elected.

    May 6, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. cholla9807

    @barney. What color is the sky in your world? I assure you the Paul boys will never occupy national office, no matter how goofy the American electorate becomes.

    May 6, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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