Washington Secrets

Democrats: Rand Paul vs. Jeb Bush in 2016 faceoff

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Tea Party,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Jeb Bush

Stanley Greenberg, a leading Democratic pollster who once worked for Bill Clinton, has just unveiled an in depth survey of Republican voters that shows the 2016 GOP primary coming down to a duel between former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Greenberg's poll, spread over 41 powerpoint pages, finds that Paul dominates the Tea Party wing of the GOP with 52 percent support. Greenberg added that evangelical Christians, which control 30 percent of the Republican Party, are very supportive of the Tea Party, suggesting Paul would control them too as he shores up conservatives.

That leaves the moderates to Bush, who is the most popular potential 2016 candidate in their eyes. Greenberg found that he controls 17 percent of the party's moderates, more than Paul, Sarah Palin or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The pollster suggested that Bush could win by taking control of the moderate wing of the party, which makes up a quarter of all GOP voters, and let the long list of expected conservatives including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to chop up the right wing. "I would run as a moderate," advised Greenberg.

His poll also provided some hopeful news for Republicans if the Democrats chose Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee. While she is loved by Democrats, the poll found that most Republicans dislike her, including 62 percent of "independent-leaning Republicans."

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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