- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio sits atop a jumbled 2016 GOP presidential field in a new poll on the race, with fellow Floridian and former Gov. Jeb Bush close behind but with less support than about a month ago.

Mr. Rubio was the first choice of 14 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the CNN/ORC poll, with Mr. Bush at 13 percent.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker were next at 10 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 8 percent.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was at 7 percent, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was at 5 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 4 percent.

Rounding out the top 10 — the standard being used to determine who will get to participate in the first official GOP debate in August — were former New York Gov. George Pataki and businessman Donald Trump in a tie for 10th at 3 percent.

In a CNN poll taken in April, Mr. Bush had been in the lead at 17 percent, followed by Mr. Walker at 12 percent and Mr. Rubio and Mr. Paul at 11 percent.

Despite the wide-open nature of the race, a plurality of Republicans in the poll released Tuesday — 49 percent to 46 percent — said they think it would be better for the the party for one strong candidate to emerge early on as the clear front-runner, as opposed for there to be a number of strong candidates competing for the nomination over the next year.

Overall, 56 percent said the fact that Mr. Bush is the son and brother of former presidents makes them less likely to vote for him. Forty-nine percent said they thought Mr. Bush is “a lot” like his brother, former President George W. Bush, compared to 47 percent who said he’s not like his brother at all.

The overall survey of 1,025 adults was taken May 29-31 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll included 483 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for that group.

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