Jeb Bush Facing Resistance From Some Conservative Voters

NOT-jeb-NO
Patrick O’Connor writes: Jeb Bush has a challenge in winning over Republican voters.

Some 42% of Republican primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, compared with 49% who said they could, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The results underscore an early theme of the Republican nominating contest: Mr. Bush might be the favorite of many top donors and operatives, but he faces hurdles in appealing to the party’s voters, giving him little room to maneuver in what promises to be a crowded field.

Of potential presidential candidates tested in the Journal/NBC poll, three others—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham—drew more resistance among people who plan to vote in a Republican primary.

Some 74% of GOP primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Trump, compared with 23% who were open to backing him. Some 57% said they wouldn’t likely back Mr. Christie, compared with 32% who were open to the idea.

For Mr. Graham, of South Carolina, 51% of GOP primary voters said they couldn’t see themselves supporting him, compared with 20% who could. Other likely GOP candidates produced lower levels of opposition. Full results of the poll will be released Monday at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

In contrast with Mr. Bush’s position among Republicans, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintains a relative stranglehold on the Democratic nomination, with 86% of Democratic primary voters saying they could see themselves supporting her and just 13% saying they couldn’t.

As Mr. Bush gears up for a likely presidential bid, the former Florida governor has been telling voters, donors and activists that he compiled a conservative record in office, touting his efforts to lower taxes, cut spending, promote school choice and end affirmative action for state universities, among other steps.

The poll suggests Mr. Bush may have a hard time convincing some of the more conservative elements of the GOP to support him for the nomination. More than half of self-described “tea party” Republicans said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush, compared with the 39% who said they could… (read more)

WSJ

Write to Patrick O’Connor at patrick.oconnor@wsj.com

 



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