Harper Polling is a new Republican firm designed to be the GOP's answer to the well-known Public Policy Polling (D). Politico recently did a piece on the new group regarding the Democratic edge in the polling and data departments. Well, it seems they're already up and running, as they've released their first numbers regarding the 2016 Republican primary:
Marco Rubio: 34%
Chris Christie: 18%
Condoleeza Rice: 14%
Rand Paul: 8%
Allen West: 5%
Scott Brown: 3%
Rubio leads the pack, confirming the PPP poll from two weeks ago that had Rubio ahead, albeit by a much smaller margin. Though the likely reason for the large disparity is in the candidates that were polled. Harper Polling included a few unconventional candidates in exchange for likely candidates like Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, or Rick Santorum. PPP only polled likely candidates.
PPP results from 12/6/2012:
Rand Paul: 7%
*Note Rick Santorum is in last place. That's a precarious position for the runner-up to the 2012 GOP nomination, as I wrote about here.
From Harper Polling, regarding the 2016 poll:
Rubio is strongest in the South and West. There’s some logic in that. He’s a son of the South, for those who count Florida as the South. The Hispanic appeal may run a bit stronger out West. In the Northeast, he and Christie run virtually tied at 29-27%. The Midwest may ultimately be the harder nut to crack for Rubio. His working class background may be his strongest connection to the industrial Midwest.
The Chris Christie primary voter appears to lean more toward the middle. Along with Condi Rice, his voters are more likely to support exceptions to the no-new-taxes pledge and they believe that compromise is better for the country. They are less likely to watch Fox News and support TEA party goals.
Speaking of the TEA party. It is the foundation of Rubio’s support. Approaching half of all TEA supporters (43%) are voting for him. If I’m one of the other guys, it can’t stay that way. Somebody has to eat away at that base for Rubio.