Well former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been ahead in most of the early polls of those seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But he has been passed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who now takes his turn a top the latest polls.
But that lead could change as back in Madison, Gov. Walker faces a battle over strong support from the voters and health care groups that he accept Medicaid Expansion money. According to the Congressional newspaper The Hill, Walker has been informed that Wisconsin could save $400 million over two years if state officials agree to expand Medicaid, raising pressure on him to move forward with the politically divisive ObamaCare policy. The estimates released Tuesday indicate that Wisconsin could benefit even more than expected from the Medicaid expansion, according to research from the state’s budget office.
If the Wisconsin legislature pushes the Medicaid Expansion through as The Hill seems to think will happen they will join 10 other Republican states that have already done so. Walker would join a list of GOP governors that includes fellow presidential hopeful Chris Christie of New Jersey.
It is not clear if that would damage Walker politically but for now he has 25 percent of Republican primary voters’ support, the Wisconsin governor leads the pack, a new Public Policy Polling national survey has found. Ben Carson places second, with 18 percent, followed by Bush with 17 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 10 percent.
Walker’s momentum has considerably grown since the January poll, in which he stood at just 11 percent. A key to this gain is his growing appeal to the conservative side of the Republican Party. Among “very conservative” voters, he leads Carson 37 percent to 19 percent, followed by 12 percent for Bush and 11 percent for Huckabee.
Bush, whom 43 percent of “very conservative” voters view unfavorably, leads Walker among moderate voters, 34 percent to 12 percent — though unfortunately for Bush, two times more GOP primary voters identify as “very conservative” than as moderate. Of those who call themselves “very conservative,” 68 percent favor Walker.
In second place, Carson’s rise in support can be attributed to grabbing Tea Party supporters of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Eighty percent of Tea Party voters view Carson favorably, compared to 70/3 for Cruz and 60/13 for Paul. Walker remains the leader in the Tea Party vote, however.
Interestingly enough, the elected official with a better favorability rating than any of the GOP’s potential presidential picks? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who garnered a 57 percent favorability rating. Huckabee came in second among the Republican voters with 56 percent, followed by Carson with 54 percent and Walker with 51 percent.