Raleigh, N.C. – PPP's newest national poll finds Marco Rubio as the early choice of Republicans for 2016. 18% would like him to be their nominee to 14% for Chris Christie, 12% for Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, 11% for Mike Huckabee, 8% for Condoleezza Rice, 7% each for Sarah Palin and Rand Paul, and 4% for Rick Santorum.
Rubio's ahead because of his strength with the most conservative wing of the party. Among 'very conservative' voters he's at 23% to 17% for Paul Ryan and 13% for Mike Huckabee. He also had the advantage with folks describing themselves as 'somewhat conservative' at 22% to 14% for Chris Christie and 13% for Jeb Bush. Christie has a big lead with moderates at 35% to 20% for Bush and 11% for Huckabee with Rubio all the way back at 5%. But there just aren't that many moderates left in the Republican Party.