Now that Jeb Bush has announce he is “exploring” a 2016 run (meaning he is running) he has surged ahead of all other possible GOP candidates in the latest CNN poll (see below). A still feeble 23% of all self described Republicans and independents support Bush, 13% support Christie and no one else reaches double digits.

Also interesting is that almost 70% believe winning the presidency is more important than a candidate being right on every issue:

But the bottom line is as of today, amongst all respondents regardless of party, Hillary would beat Jeb by a large margin (although he would do better by any other Republican. Possibly because of his recent announcement Bush has cut down an Clinton lead from 23% down to 13%

Second to Bush vs. Clinton would be Paul Ryan who is 15% behind Clinton.

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Understand this is just a point in time almost two years before the next election and almost ten months before the first GOP debate scheduled for 9/15/15.  What we can learn from this is that  perhaps Jeb’s support was depressed because people didn’t think he was going to run. What we also learn is that most Republicans are looking to rally around a candidate who they think has a chance to win.  If Jeb follows through and runs, it would be incumbent on him to prove that he can win.  But there is danger ahead, according to the same poll, some of Bush’s positions will hurt him with his own party, immigration, common core and raising taxes all make it 30-40% less likely that a Republican will support him.  Those will be the issues his GOP opponents hit him on.

In truth as pointed out earlier, the first votes are a long time away, the real revelation in this poll is that this primary season can be as contentious as 2012.

The full CNN poll is embedded below:

poll2 by Jeffrey Dunetz