The latest on the presidential horse race.

Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush Drop in Latest 2016 GOP Poll

YouGov/Economist, 12/14-12/16

  • Christie: 18
  • Paul: 13
  • Huckabee: 13
  • Ryan: 11
  • Cruz: 7
  • Bush: 7
  • Walker: 7
  • Rubio: 6

With many Republican voters opting for alternative candidates to the current “mainstream GOP pack,” a new YouGov/Economist poll shows that four candidates, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Mike Huckabee, are still at double-digit support while every other candidate, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker, has fallen significantly behind.

The poll, conducted between December 14 and December 16, sampling 274 adults, found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remains the Republican frontrunner to close out 2013 as 18 percent of respondents said he was their choice for the 2016 GOP nominee. In five polls taken in December, Christie finished first with 16-19 percent of the vote in each one.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has seen his support wane in recent months, finished second with 13 percent of the vote. In three previous December polls, Paul was at 11-14 percent but had fallen behind candidates like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tied Paul in the poll with 13 percent of the vote. Huckabee has only recently been mentioned among likely 2016 GOP candidates and, with a Fox News show and a soon-to-be-launched news site called The Huckabee Post, has a great ability to reach voters without having to start a campaign.

Wisconsin Congressman and former Mitt Romney running mate Paul Ryan finished fourth in the poll with 11 percent, the only other candidate to garner double-digits in this latest survey. Ryan has been polling at 10-13 percent in all of the other December polls as well.

The poll couldn’t have been great news for Texas Senator Ted Cruz who, after garnering 12-14 percent in three previous December polls, found his support watered down by increasing Huckabee and Scott Walker support. Just 7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Cruz, the same as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who had been an early favorite to challenge the party’s elite, finished dead last with just 6 percent of the vote. Fifteen percent of respondents said they are undecided.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)