Jeb Bush 2016 GOP Presidential Frontrunner, New Poll Shows

Jennifer Murray

Just two weeks after Jeb Bush stated he would actively explore a presidential bid, he now leads the pack among other GOP contenders, according to a CNN/ORC poll released today.

Jeb Bush's Facebook post from Dec. 16 announcing his decision to explore throwing his hat into the presidential ring seems to have spurred GOP support. Bush comes in at 23 percent of Republican support, which puts him a full 10 percentage points ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is at 13 percent. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson comes in third at 7 percent, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul tie in the fourth position at 6 percent. Bush is up by 9 percent points over a CNN/ORC poll conducted Nov. 21 to Nov. 23.

According to CNN, Jeb Bush's 10 percent lead marks the first time any prospective candidate has reached a lead beyond a poll's margin of error in the past two years.

As MSNBC points out, although Bush is frontrunner right now, he faces many obstacles, one being his brother George W. Bush's unpopular presidency. Bush's support for allowing some illegal immigrants to stay in the country may not be a popular stance; however, the CNN poll shows, supporters are evenly split as to whether this will be a deal-breaker in terms of their vote, with 39 percent saying this will have no affect on their backing of Bush.

While 40 percent of those polled agreed state government spending increased in Florida under Bush, 49 percent say that does not matter to them.

Jeb Bush's support of Common Core is not enough to make much of a difference among supporters either.

"Even on Common Core educational standards, which many conservatives vehemently oppose, GOP primary voters are about evenly split on whether his support for those standards would make them less likely to support him."

Sixty-nine percent of responders to the poll say they want a presidential nominee who can beat a Democratic candidate. In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary Clinton, while Jeb Bush is the clear leader, he still trails behind the former Secretary of State by 13 points, with Clinton at 54 percent to his 41.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted Dec. 18 to Dec. 21 with 1,011 adults, and was taken via cell phone and landline. The overall sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

[Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore]