Jeb Bush leads in New Hampshire, poll says

Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rand Paul top the field among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, but 43 percent say they are undecided, according to a new poll from Boston’s Suffolk University.

Asked to name their first choice for the GOP nomination, 19 percent chose Bush, the former Florida governor; 11 percent picked Walker, the Wisconsin governor, and 7 percent named Paul, the Kentucky senator.

Six percent backed businessman Donald Trump, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who announced his candidacy Monday, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie each drew about five percent. Sixteen other potential candidates got fractional support.

Not only is the race wide open, the poll also finds a split among those expected to vote in the Republican primary over the direction of the party: 32 percent say it is too conservative; 32% say it’s not conservative enough.

Twenty nine percent of respondents say national security is the most important issue facing the country right now.

The poll also shows New Hampshire’s libertarian streak, with voters in some notable respects diverging from the national GOP platform. The likely primary voters are more likely to favor than oppose legal same-sex marriage, 43 percent to 39 percent; and they also are more apt to describe themselves as “pro-choice” on abortion – 49 percent, to 41 percent who say they are “pro-life.”

The margin of error for the survey, based on interviews taken over landline and mobile phones between March 21 and 24, is 4.4 percentage points.