The presidential primary race is on. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz are officially candidates for the Republicans. Hillary Clinton tossed her hat into the ring yesterday. And many more are still all-but-candidates for the GOP.
In the Republican race, many hopefuls are trying to build support among social conservatives. The April Washington Post/ABC poll asked about potential candidates. The results give an early snapshot of how the race is going and who the born-again base of the GOP likes so far.
The poll asked Republicans which candidate they preferred — who would they vote to the Republican nominee if the primary was today? Among all Republicans and white, born-again Christians, the top pick was Jeb Bush. This is a good harbinger for the Bush campaign, as a challenger is unlikely to be successful without organized opposition.
White born-again Christians were more likely than other Republicans to support Mike Huckabee (who did well among evangelicals in 2008) and Ted Cruz (who made a play for fundamentalists by launching his campaign at Liberty University).
The poll also asked who Americans liked. Unlike for the vote question, respondents could report finding more than one candidate favorable (note: Mike Huckabee was not one of the candidates rated). Here too is good news for Bush: White, born again Christians give him their highest favorability.
White, born again Christians are not fond of Hillary Clinton, who received the lowest favorability. This favorability, however, is higher than those given by Republicans.