A new Suffolk University poll shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as the early favorite among 2016 Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire.
Bush was the first choice at 19 percent, followed by Scott Walker at 14 percent, Rand Paul at 7 percent, and Donald Trump at 6 percent. Ted Cruz and Chris Christie were tied at 5 percent each, followed by Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson at 3 percent. Ten other candidates received less than 2 percent, and 24 percent said they were undecided.
The survey of 500 likely voters in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary was conducted from March 21-24.
"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."
Walker leads Bush 20 percent to 14 percent among likely voters who described themselves as "conservatives," followed closely by Cruz and Trump. Overall, Walker's favorable rating of 46 percent is slightly below Bush's 54 percent, and his unfavorable rating was 15 percent compared to Bush's 27 percent.
One in three voters surveyed said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with the Republican field of candidates. Eighty percent said they believe the country is on the wrong track, while 13 percent said the country is headed in the right direction.
"These are the kinds of numbers that provide fertile ground for a well-financed independent candidate, looking at the dissatisfaction among political party loyalists, to present a third alternative," Paleologos said.
[CLICK HERE for the full poll results.]