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GOP Voters Question Whether Jeb Agrees More with Hillary Than With Them

Democrats are more confident than Republicans that Jeb Bush will be next year’s GOP presidential candidate, perhaps in part because a lot of Republicans suspect Bush agrees more with Hillary Clinton than with the average voter in his own party.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of Likely Republican Voters believe Bush has more in common with Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, than with the average GOP voter when it comes to the major issues facing the nation. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only slightly more Republicans (40%) disagree and feel Bush has more in common with them. One-in-four (24%) is undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-one percent (41%) of Republicans think Bush is still likely to be the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. But that’s down 15 points from 56% in June when the former Florida governor formally announced his bid for the White House and includes just 10% who say Bush is Very Likely to be the nominee.

By comparison, 48% of Democrats think Bush will be the Republican presidential candidate next year, with 13% who say it’s Very Likely.

Rasmussen Reports asked GOP voters each time a new candidate entered the race what that candidate’s chances were for the nomination. Bush was the leader at that early stage, but now 66% of Likely Republican Voters think billionaire developer Donald Trump is likely to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, including 26% who feel it is Very Likely. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 6-7, 2015 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.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan in her latest op-ed column addresses the similarities between Bush and Clinton and their failure to excite voters in their parties. 

Among all likely voters, 43% think Bush is likely to be the GOP nominee, while 52% say that’s unlikely. This includes just nine percent (9%) who consider a Bush nomination Very Likely and 13% who say it’s Not At All Likely.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) say Bush has more in common with Clinton on the major issues than with the average Republican voter. Forty-two percent (42%) disagree, while 29% are not sure.

Conservative voters are evenly divided on the question of whom Bush agrees with more. Moderates and liberals tend to think he has more in common with his fellow Republicans.

Among voters who think Bush agrees more with Clinton, only 32% believe he will win the Republican nomination. That compares to 54% of voters who say Bush has more in common with voters in his own party.

In our latest monthly Hillary Meter, 56% of all voters describe Clinton as liberal, while 27% say she’s a moderate. Only seven percent (7%) consider her conservative. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans believe Clinton is a liberal.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters – and 69% of Republicans - think Clinton and President Obama hold similar views on most major policy issues.

Trump has seen a surge of support in part because of his tough talk on illegal immigration and has pulled the GOP field in his direction. Ninety-three percent (93%) of Republicans consider illegal immigration a serious problem in America today,with 74% who say it is Very Serious. 

Bush has criticized Trump for his proposals and in the past has described illegal immigration as “an act of love” by people trying to better themselves and their families. Eighty percent (80%) of voters have a favorable opinion of immigrants who come to the United States to work hard, support their families and pursue the American Dream. The problem is far fewer (54%) now believe that's the agenda most immigrants have in mind.

Bush caused a stir on the campaign trail in early July when he said Americans need to work harder to get the U.S. economy back on its feet. But most voters disagree and feel strongly instead that government and special interests have gamed the economy to deny Americans what they are due.

In our last survey of the overall Republican race, including all 17 of the major candidates, in early August, Trump was the leader; Bush was grouped with Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina and Scott Walker in second place.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 6-7, 2015 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.

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