Bush And Rubio Lead GOP Candidates In WSJ Poll

According to a Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday, presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul’s support is waning among Republican primary voters. As well as losing the confidence of likely voters in Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio are gaining support.

Although these are early days in the campaign, for all 12 known candidates, Paul’s decline is dramatic compared with the others. Looking back, as early as April 7th, Paul had jumped to an early lead when there was a much smaller group of committed candidates, according to Politico.

Rand Paul’s fall from grace is so spectacular that now only 49 percent of likely GOP voters said they could may vote for Paul for president in the primary. That is terrible news for Rand Paul, because it means a 10 percent drop since the April survey, just after he announced.

At the same time, Jeb Bush is leading the poll with 75 percent, a jump of five percent from April. That is the best of any of the currently declared candidates. That the time he announced his candidacy more than a week ago, Bush said he is determined to campaign on the basis of his own reputation, not that of his family. That strategy seems to be working for him.

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Right behind Bush is fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio was a very close second in the poll with 74 percent support. It should be noted that of all the candidates, Rubio has the highest margin of support. Only 15 percent said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Rubio for the nomination. That gives him a difference of 59. Of all the questions asked in the Wall Street Journal poll, that one question appears to be the most important and shows the strength of Rubio’s candidacy.

Bush didn’t fare so well, as 22 percent of poll respondents said they could not support him. That places Bush six points behind Rubio at 53. That is a small margin.

These are early days, but there is a large gap to the next candidate. That candidate head 57% saying they could support him. CNN reported that “Walker is an ‘unknown quantity to many GOP voters,’ with 21 percent of primary voters polled saying they do not know his name.”

Donald Trump is also in the mix after announcing last week. Currently only 32% support him, but the devastating number is that 66% said they could not support him. That makes his margin of support -34. Trump’s saving grace is that those who are determined to vote for him give him high loyalty.

Trump has not yet disclosed his net worth. He knows he needs to do that to continue his candidacy, but the question is, will he?

There were other ‘winners’ in the poll. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina had double-digit gains from the same poll two months ago.

If the Republican debates were to start today, only ten of the top percentage candidates will be invited to debate.

Rand Paul’s fall from grace is spectacular

The Poll Numbers

Here are the support and margin numbers for candidates, declared and undeclared:

  1. Marco Rubio: 74 percent-15 percent (+59)
  2. Jeb Bush: 75 percent-22 percent (+53)
  3. Scott Walker: 57 percent-19 percent (+38)
  4. Mike Huckabee: 65 percent-32 percent (+33)
  5. Ben Carson: 50 percent-21 percent (+29)
  6. Rick Perry: 53 percent-31 percent (+22)
  7. Ted Cruz: 51 percent-31 percent (+20)
  8. Rick Santorum: 49 percent-40 percent (+9)
  9. Bobby Jindal: 36 percent-28 percent (+8)
  10. Rand Paul: 49 percent-45 percent (+4)
  11. Carly Fiorina: 31 percent-29 percent (+2)
  12. John Kasich: 25 percent-30 percent (-5)
  13. Chris Christie: 36 percent-55 percent (-19)
  14. Lindsey Graham: 27 percent-49 percent (-22)
  15. George Pataki: 13 percent-44 percent (-31)
  16. Donald Trump 32 percent-66 percent (-34)

The poll chose to query 236 likely GOP voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 6.4 percentage points. That seems like a too small a number to be valid.

The candidate debates are scheduled to start early August. If they were held today, Rubio, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Perry, Cruz, Santorum, Jindal and Florina would be standing on the stage. The other candidates, Kasich, Christie, Graham, Pataki, and Trump would be asked to a separate forum to debate off-camera.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.