Murray: No GOP front runner (or top tier) as Jeb launches

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Jeb Bush is officially in (as of 3:00 p.m. EST Monday), Save Jerseyans, but for all of his name recognition and financial prowess, 2016 continues to be a unique cycle insofar as there’s not just no front runner for the Republican nomination, but there isn’t even a “top tier” per se.

That’s the conclusion of Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. His latest national survey results are a bit shockingly, at least when viewed through a historical lens:

Ben Carson (11%)
Scott Walker (10%)
Jeb Bush (9%)
Marco Rubio (9%)
Mike Huckabee (8%)
Rand Paul (6%)
Ted Cruz (5%)
Chris Christie (4%)
Rick Perry (4%)
Rick Santorum (3%)
Carly Fiorina (2%)
Lindsey Graham (2%)
Donald Trump (2%)
Bobby Jindal (1%)
John Kasich (1%)
George Pataki (0%)

bush jebCrazy, right? And to be clear, it’s NOT that early. The first debate is scheduled for August 6th. It’ll be here before you know it. Yet as Murray reports, not one candidate listed above scored better than “undecided.” There is some movement. Carson and Rubio are each up 4 points since April; Cruz (6 points), Trump (5 points), and Bush (4 points) are all dropping. But there’s still no meaningful separation in the pack, and the undecideds’ ranks have grown by 6 points.

“You would be hard pressed to look at these results and identify an emerging top tier in the Republican field, let alone a so-called front runner,” said Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute located in West Long Branch. “Jeb Bush was supposed to take the stage with the aura of a favorite, but his poll numbers don’t support that.  The GOP electorate overall is lukewarm toward him and the most conservative voters are even more negative.”

The only clear differences emerge on the favorability front. For example, Marco Rubo (54% favorable vs. 18% unfavorable) has a clear jump on his fellow Floridian and former mentor, Bush (40% favorable, 35% unfavorable). Chris Christie, by the way, is completely upside down at 26% favorable and 43% unfavorable, a decline from his 33%/42% in April despite having since been effectively cleared of wrongdoing in the Bridgegate debacle.

So maybe this is a true process of elimination? Or perhaps an unsettled field makes Bush’s money all the more decisive in a truncated primary environment? TBD…


5 thoughts on “Murray: No GOP front runner (or top tier) as Jeb launches

  1. Rand Paul is the only candidate who comes the closest to beating Hillary. If Jeb is the candidate you can forget 2016. it will go to the DEm. Squishy moderates pandering to Latinos, in favor of amnesty and common core will not be popular no matter how much money he has to buy his way in. Just ask Eric Cantor how that worked out for him.

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