Bush stands at 19%, up from 13% in May — and his best showing in CNN/ORC polling since December. Trump follows at 12%, up from 3% before his announcement. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (8%), neurosurgeon Ben Carson (7%) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (7%) round out the top five.
Notably absent from this top five — though statistically speaking not far behind — are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (6%, down from 14% in May) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (6%, down slightly from 10%). Both had been top five candidates in each of the last two CNN/ORC polls, and Walker had been in the top five since February.
The poll, conducted just before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie formally launched his campaign with a rally in Livingston, New Jersey, on Tuesday, also finds that Christie begins his push for the presidency with just 3% support.
The findings suggest Bush is making progress toward being seen as the frontrunner in a field that has long lacked a clear leader. He holds a significant lead over the second-place candidate Trump, is seen as the candidate who could best handle illegal immigration and social issues, and runs about even with Trump and well ahead of the other candidates when Republicans are asked which candidate can best handle the economy.
Trump continues to face fallout due to his negative immigration comments about the Mexican-American/Hispanic community while announcing his candidacy for president. Macy’s, NBC, Univision, and others are severing ties with the real estate mogul and billionaire businessman.
Hillary continues to lead the Democratic field.