Political Dynasties Leave Voters Wanting More


This August 30, 2012 file photo shows former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waving to the audience on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. Last year family matriarch Barbara Bush proclaimed there have been "enough Bushes" in the White House, but recently son Jeb unambiguously revived prospects of extending the political dynasty. AFP PHOTO / Files/ Brendan SMIALOWSKIBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP - Getty Images

Nearly seven in 10 Americans agree that more than two or three families – namely the Bushes and the Clintons – should run for president, according to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Earlier this year, former First Lady Barbara Bush made this remark to C-Span when asked about her son Jeb Bush possibly running for president in 2016: “I think this is a great American country, and if we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office, that’s silly.”

That was similar to a comment she made on NBC’s “Today” a year ago: “It's a great country. There are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."


When asked about Barbara Bush’s statement – in the context of potential presidential bids by Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton – 69 percent of respondents agreed with it, while 25 percent disagreed.

And most of those in agreement said Barbara Bush’s statement applies equally to both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

But the NBC/WSJ poll also finds Hillary Clinton to be more popular than Jeb Bush.

Forty-eight percent of all respondents view Clinton positively, while 32 percent have a negative opinion about her.

By comparison, Bush has an overall net-negative favorable/unfavorable rating – 21 percent positive, 32 percent negative.

“The Democratic presumed front-runner is more popular than the GOP’s presumed front-runner,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, whose firm Hart Research conducted the survey with the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies.

Clinton also is more popular with her party and its base – she has a 77 percent-to-6 percent fav/unfav rating among Democrats, while Bush’s rating among Republicans is 40 percent to 12 percent.

And among Republican Tea Party supporters, Bush’s rating is 47 percent to 11 percent.

However, that’s lower than Sen. Rand Paul’s, R-Kentucky, 59 percent-to-7 percent rating with that same key GOP group.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted April 23-27 of 1,000 adults (including 300 cell phone-only respondents), and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.