- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton leads a trio of Republican heavyweights in head-to-head 2016 matchups, according to a new poll.

Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner, leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent, she leads Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida by 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent, and she leads Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by 14 points, 51 percent to 37 percent, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said.

In an NBC/WSJ survey released in April, she had led Mr. Bush, Mr. Rubio and Mr. Walker by 6, 6, and 10 points, respectively.

In a “generic” presidential preference question, however, 39 percent of registered voters said they think it would be better to have a Democrat as the next president, compared to 36 percent who said a Republican would be better.

Mrs. Clinton has a tight grip on the Democratic nomination, the poll said; she’s the first choice of 75 percent of Democrats and leads her next-closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, by 60 points.

More than 6 in 10 Democrats still prefer that she have a challenging primary so she is tested for the general election, compared to 35 percent who want an easy primary so the party is united ahead of the general election.

On the Republican side, Mr. Bush led the GOP field with 22 percent, followed by Mr. Walker at 17 percent, Mr. Rubio at 14 percent, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 11 percent, with no other candidate or potential candidate reaching double digits.

The survey of 1,000 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, with a margin of error among 236 Republican primary voters of 6.38 percent and a margin of error among 247 Democratic primary voters of 6.24 percent.

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