Jeb Bush opens lead on GOP field
© Getty Images

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has opened up a large lead over the Republican presidential field, according to a new poll.

Bush wins 23 percent of the Republican vote in the CNN/ORC polls, well ahead of New Jersey Gov.Chris Christie, who gets 13 percent.

Bush announced this month that he is will "actively explore" a presidential run, and this is the first poll since his announcement. Bush's entry into the race was expected to hurt Christie, who is also seen as a favorite of the GOP establishment.


Bush's lead is up to 10 points, compared to just a four-point lead in a Washington Post/ABC News poll in mid-December. 

In the new CNN/ORC poll, pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson follows Christie, with 7 percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations MORE (R-Ky.) follow at 6 percent. 

Christie is the main possible candidate to see a bump in this poll, other than Bush. Christie is up to 13 percent from 9 percent in the last CNN/ORC poll, in November. 

By contrast, Carson and Huckabee, the next two candidates, both fell by four points since that November poll. Paul fell two points, from 8 percent to 6 percent. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (R-Fla.), who has received a burst of attention by leading the opposition against President Obama's move to open relations with Cuba, is up two points since November, though he is still at just 5 percent. 

The poll shows that despite Bush's lead, there are still doubts among Republicans about some of his policy positions. Bush has called for candidates not to try to conform to the views of the Republican base, saying a candidate should "lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles."

By 42 to 20 percent, Republicans say that Bush's statement that some illegal immigration is an "act of love" to reunite families makes them less likely to vote for him. Bush's support for the Common Core education standards, a major issue among the Republican base, also makes voters less likely to vote for him, by 38 percent to 20 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief MORE continues to have a massive lead, at 66 percent to 9 percent over Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAmerica can end poverty among its elderly citizens Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Misguided recusal rules lock valuable leaders out of the Pentagon MORE (D-Mass.) Vice President Biden gets 8 percent, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin meets with Sanders, Jayapal amid spending stalemate America can end poverty among its elderly citizens Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair MORE (I-Vt.) gets 3 percent, and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley gets 1 percent.

The poll shows Clinton beats all the Republican candidates in an early look at general election matchups, though Bush comes closest, down 54 to 41 percent.