New Hampshire Republican primary voters favor Jeb Bush and Scott Walker by a large margin over all other potential 2016 candidates, with Bush edging Walker 18.8 percent to 14.2 percent, according to a new poll.
Boston's Suffolk University Political Research Center survey released Thursday didn't place any other candidate close to the dueling duo. Next behind Walker, the Wisconsin governor, was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 7 percent. Donald Trump was fourth.
The poll asked 500 Republicans who their "first choice" was and also addressed the favorable/unfavorable ratings of the potential candidates. That found that Bush had the highest favorable rating of the top GOP candidates, at 53.8 percent, beating Mike Huckabee's 49.6 percent.
And 55 percent said that they were satisfied with the candidates being fielded in the GOP primary.
"The single-digit candidates need to go to New Hampshire and make a personal appeal to likely Republican voters there if they want to become the Republican alternative to Jeb Bush," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "There are still plenty of undecided voters who might be won over if they make their case."
When asked for the first phrase that comes to mind when hearing Bush's name, 17.2 percent said "family/legacy/dynasty." But 7.4 percent said "Tired of the Bushes/Too many Bushes," said the university. Walker's top phrase was "anti-union/right to work."
The poll asked the same question about leading Democrat Hillary Clinton and the most common phrase, mentioned by 19.4 percent of Republicans polled, was "liar/dishonest/untrustworthy.'
This survey of 500 likely Republican primary voters was conducted between March 21 and March 24, 2015, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
First choice of New Hampshire Republicans
Jeb Bush, 18.8 percent
Gov. Scott Walker, 14.2 percent
Sen. Rand Paul, 7 percent
Donald Trump, 5.8 percent
Sen. Ted Cruz, 4.8 percent
Gov. Chris Christie, 4.6 percent
Sen. Marco Rubio, 3 percent
Ben Carson, 3 percent
Mike Huckabee, 3 percentPaul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.