More Americans are clamoring for change in the upcoming 2016 presidential election than they were in the “Hope and Change” year of 2008, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
That desire for change is a potential roadblock for two of the leading frontrunners – Democrat Hillary Clinton (the former first lady, presidential candidate and secretary of state) and Republican Jeb Bush (the former Florida governor whose brother and father served as president).
View the full poll results here.
But it might be a more significant challenge for Bush, given that fewer than half of Republican primary voters believe he would provide new ideas and a vision for the future, versus nearly three-quarters of Democrats who think the same of Clinton.
In the poll, 59 percent of all voters prefer a candidate who will bring greater changes to current policies, even if he or she is less experienced and tested – up from 55 percent who said this in July 2008 during the general-election contest between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Sixty percent of registered voters (including 42 percent of Republicans) say that Bush represents a return to the policies of the past, versus 27 percent (and 49 percent of GOP voters) who say he will provide new ideas and a vision for the future.
By comparison, 51 percent of all voters (but just 24 percent of Democrats) think Clinton represents a return to the policies of the past, and 44 percent (including 73 percent of Democrats) say she’ll provide new ideas for the future.
Walker and Rubio: The GOP candidates with room to grow
In the early battle for the Republican presidential nomination, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appear to have more appeal among Republican voters than Bush does, according to the poll.
In the survey, 53 percent of potential Republican primary voters say they could see themselves supporting Walker, versus 17 percent who couldn’t (+36 points).
Likewise, 56 percent of GOP voters say they could back Rubio, compared with 26 percent who couldn’t (+30).
By contrast, Republicans are fairly divided on Bush – 49 percent could support, versus 42 percent who couldn’t (+7). Ditto Sen. Rand Paul (+9), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (+5) and Sen. Ted Cruz (+2).
And they’re down on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (-25), Sen. Lindsey Graham (-31) and Donald Trump (-51).
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, says Walker could end up being the Republican “flavor of the month.”
Or, Hart adds, he “could be like George W. Bush in 2000 or Obama in 2007” – that is, sitting in this early position because he has “tapped into something that is important and needs to be watched.”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Mark Murray