- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A new national poll gives a narrow edge to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, with support for Mr. Huckabee jumping 10 points from a similar survey in December.

Mr. Huckabee is at 16 percent in the CNN/ORC poll, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 14 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 11 percent, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 10 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 8 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 7 percent.

The numbers indicate a wide-open race at this point, and a comparison to a CNN/ORC survey from December also demonstrates how fickle early polling on 2016 can be.

Mr. Huckabee was at 6 percent in the December poll, but announced in early January that he was leaving his Fox News show in order to explore a presidential run. Mr. Walker, who raised eyebrows with a well-received performance at an Iowa forum last month, saw his support jump from 4 percent in December.

Mr. Bush, meanwhile, was in the lead at 23 percent in the December poll taken soon after he announced he was actively exploring a presidential run, and Mr. Christie was in second at 13 percent.

Support for Mr. Paul ticked up a few points from 6 percent in December, and support for Mr. Carson, which was at 7 percent, stayed relatively steady.

Of course, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney also told donors in January he was thinking about running again in 2016, only to rule that out several weeks later.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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