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NBC News Poll: Republicans Are Divided Over Jeb Bush Candidacy

Image: Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland

Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015. KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Republican voters are divided in their support for Jeb Bush in the upcoming 2016 presidential race, according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Forty-nine percent of potential GOP primary voters say they could see themselves supporting Bush, the former Florida governor whose father and brother served as president, versus 42 percent who say they could not back him.
But that's a better score than some other possible Republican candidates received in the poll:
  • Only 32 percent of Republican voters said they could see themselves supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, versus 57 percent who could not (-25);
  • Only 20 percent said they could see themselves backing Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., compared with 51 percent who could not (-31);
  • And only 23 percent said they could see themselves supporting real-estate mogul Donald Trump, versus 74 percent who could not (-51).
The numbers for other Republicans who ranked higher on this scale — as well as the numbers for Democrats — will be released on Monday night.
The national NBC/WSJ poll was conducted March 1-5, and the margin of error for the results from 229 Republican primary voters is plus-minus 6.5 percentage points.