Jeb Bush Facing Resistance From Some Conservative Voters

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Some 42% of Republican primary voters say they likely wouldn’t support former governor for GOP nod.

Jeb Bush has a challenge in winning over Republican voters.

Some 42% of Republican primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, compared with 49% who said they could, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The results underscore an early theme of the Republican nominating contest: Mr. Bush might be the favorite of many top donors and operatives, but he faces hurdles in appealing to the party’s voters, giving him little room to maneuver in what promises to be a crowded field.

Of potential presidential candidates tested in the Journal/NBC poll, three others—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham—drew more resistance among people who plan to vote in a Republican primary.

In contrast with Mr. Bush’s position among Republicans, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintains a relative stranglehold on the Democratic nomination, with 86% of Democratic primary voters saying they could see themselves supporting her and just 13% saying they couldn’t.

As Mr. Bush gears up for a likely presidential bid, the former Florida governor has been telling voters, donors and activists that he compiled a conservative record in office, touting his efforts to lower taxes, cut spending, promote school choice and end affirmative action for state universities, among other steps.

The poll suggests Mr. Bush may have a hard time convincing some of the more conservative elements of the GOP to support him for the nomination. More than half of self-described “tea party” Republicans said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush, compared with the 39% who said they could.

Conservatives split on the former Florida governor, with 48% saying that could see themselves backing Mr. Bush and 45% saying they couldn’t. He notched better marks among abortion opponents and voters who want the government to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Mr. Bush also performed better among people who cast ballots for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and among centrist or even liberal GOP primary voters.

Mrs. Clinton, who is preparing to announce her candidacy, hasn’t drawn serious competition for the Democratic nomination. The new Journal/NBC poll found broad support for her among people who said they would vote in a Democratic primary. Nine out of 10 women who would vote in the party’s primaries said they were open to supporting her, and four out of five men said the same.

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