Quinnipiac poll: Scott Walker, Jeb Bush lead GOP field

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HAMDEN (CNN) — Govs. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are locked in a dead heat as the favorites for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new poll.

With 18% and 16%, respectively, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Bush, the former governor of Florida, lead the pack of prospective Republican presidential candidates according to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released Thursday of Republican and Republican-leaning voters. That’s within the poll’s 4.2 percentage point margin-of-error for the Republican side.

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Behind the early favorites, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee each carried 8% according to the survey.

Sen. Rand Paul may have carried the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Saturday, but he pulls just 6% of support among Republican voters nationwide, according to the poll. That puts him neck-and-neck with physician Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

hc-hillary-clinton-0710-20140710-001Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to be the top presidential pick for Democratic voters, who still favor Clinton five-to-one over Vice President Joe Biden and four-to-one over Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden has said he is considering a presidential run while Warren has all-but closed the door to a run, but continues to hold on to her progressive base of supporters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, gets a nod from 7% of Democratic voters, according to the poll.

And Clinton continues to lead all of her would-be Republican opponents, with Bush coming the closest with 42% to Clinton’s 45% in a hypothetical matchup. Clinton would beat Walker 48-39% according to the poll.

But to accomplish that, Clinton will need to find some daylight between her and President Barack Obama: 59% of respondents said they want the next president to “change direction,” while just 30% said they want more of the same.

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