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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.

{mosads}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 Paul (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 Rubio (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 Clinton continues to have a massive lead, at 66 percent to 9 percent over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Vice President Biden gets 8 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (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.  





Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Marco Rubio Rand Paul

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