Jeb Bush Tops List Republicans Want to See Run in 2016: NYT/CBS Poll

Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush signs the book “Immigation Wars” he co-authored with Clint Bolick at a book signing during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013.

Written with Ryan Kerr

Just as Jeb Bush’s words about the possible difficulty of his family name in another presidential campaign were settling in — a concern which he says Hillary Clinton should have as well — comes a new poll showing:

The former Florida governor leading a list of “high-profile Republican Party leaders” whom Republicans would like to see run for president in 2016 –41 percent of those surveyed said so. Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul statistically ties with Bush in this question: 39 percent.

For a retired governor worried about how his political heritage might play in the party’s primaries, that’s not a bad starting point for Bush. (It doesn’t address the possible general election impediments, however.)

The same share of Republicans surveyed — 41 percent — said they wouldn’t like to see New Jersey Gov. Christie run for president — the greatest opposition voiced for any of five possible leaders tested. Fewer, 31 percent, said they’d like to see Christie run.

For a governor reelected with a 22 percentage point margin in a state that hasn’t backed a Republican for president since 1988, that’s a clear sign that the traffic jam his administration ordered at the George Washington Bridge last fall is taking its toll on his national image.

The New York Times/CBS News survey found Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and  Christie virtually tied among those whom Republicans would like to see run: Rubio at 32 percent, Christie at 31 percent.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz drew the least support among the five tested: 24 percent.

Bush, son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, said this week that his family name is a factor in deciding about running — which he says he hasn’t.

“It’s an issue for sure,” Bush said while attending the Long Island Association’s biannual luncheon on Monday. And he’s not the only one who has to keep that in mind, he added.

“I get the point. It’s something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that,” he said. “And so will Hillary, by the way. Let’s keep the same standards for everybody.”

At the moment, Bush has another race on his mind. His son, George P. Bush, is running for land commissioner in Texas, a gateway to governor in a state that launched the second Bush presidency.


Among Democrats surveyed, it comes as little surprise that 82 percent say they’d like to see Clinton run. Fewer than half, 42 percent, said they’d like to see Vice President Joe Biden run — he said this week that Clinton’s decision about running will play no role in his own, though he may want to take a closer look at this poll.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has said she won’t run, finds encouragement in just 22 percent of those surveyed by the Times and CBS. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: 17 percent. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley: 3 percent.

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