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2016? Hillary Clinton 47%, Jeb Bush 33%

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The latest round of speculation about the 2016 presidential race stars former Florida Governor Jeb Bush whose Republican nomination could potentially lead to a matchup between two powerhouse political families. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton holds a double-digit lead over Bush in a hypothetical matchup, but half of voters are less likely to vote for Bush because of his family’s history in the White House.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters would choose Clinton, while 33% would opt for Bush. Fourteen percent (14%) prefer some other candidate, while six percent (6%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Many analysts view Bush as a GOP establishment candidate replacement for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is still dealing with the political fallout from the brief closing of a bridge into New York City during his reelection campaign. Just after Christie’s decisive reelection in November, the governor was nearly even with Clinton in a potential 2016 matchup.

But Bush has a major hurdle in his way. Fifty percent (50%) of voters nationwide say the fact that his father and his brother have both served as president makes them less likely to vote for him in 2016. Fourteen percent (14%) say the Bush family's presidential legacy makes them more likely to vote for him. Thirty-four percent (34%) say it would have no impact on their voting decision.

Clinton's age isn't nearly as big a factor. She will turn 69 just before the election in 2016 which has prompted some to suggest she is too old for the presidency. Just 16% think Clinton is too old to be president, though, while 72% disagree. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

There has been a Bush or a Clinton running in every presidential election but one since 1988. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters are at least somewhat worried that the United States is developing an unofficial group of royal families with too much influence over government and politics, but that concern is down from 47% in December 2008. Most (60%) are not worried about "dynasty" politics. The new findings include 16% who are Very Worried and 19% who are Not At All Worried.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 4-5, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In November, Clinton held a dominant lead among potential Democratic nominees for 2016. Bush received support from 12% of GOP voters at that time, putting him in a tie for fourth place on a list of potential candidates. The same percentage (12%) of GOP voters said Bush was the candidate they’d least like to see run.

Eighty-five of percent (85%) of Democrats support Clinton in this hypothetical matchup, while 72% of Republicans back Bush. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Clinton 40% to 28%, but 32% like another choice or are undecided.

Thirty percent (30%) of GOP voters say they are more likely to vote for Bush because of his family’s presidential history, but nearly as many (26%) are less likely to support him for this reason. A plurality (43%) of Republicans says it's not important.  Most Democrats (74%) are less likely to vote for Jeb because of his family’s time in the White House, as are 44% of unaffiliated voters. But the same number of unaffiliated voters (44%) say it has no impact.

Men are more likely than women to think Clinton is too old to be president. Voters 40 and over believe that more strongly than those who are younger.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Democrats say Clinton is not too old, a view shared by 50% of GOP voters and 73% of unaffiliateds.

Forty-two percent (42%) of unaffilitated voters are worried the United States is developing an unofficial group of royal families with too much power, a view shared by 31% of Republican voters and 35% of Democrats.

Forty-four percent (44%) of Mainstream voters are concerned about dynasty politics, compared to just 22% of the Political Class.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, 30% of voters said Republican nominee John McCain was too old to be president. McCain was 72 when he ran in 2008.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters consider it a negative to describe a political candidate as being like George W. Bush. The same number says that of Obama.

Forty-six percent (46%) voters think the circumstances surrounding the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. Embassy employees in Libya will hurt Clinton if she runs for president in 2016.

Most voters (77%) think it is at least somewhat likely that a woman will be elected president in the next 10 years

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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