Likely 2016 Republican voters are pretty happy with the current, growing field of GOP candidates, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.
The survey, released on Tuesday, found that 57% of respondents polled said they have favorable views of the deep Republican field, while only 8% said they have a poor outlook.
According to Bloomberg Politics, Republicans’ feelings about their candidates this go around is much different than in 2011/2012:
“That’s a less bleak picture than the 2012 election, when another bloated field of Republicans sought to challenge President Barack Obama. Pew found in May 2011 that only 44 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters had a positive view of their candidates.”
Of the six “likely” Republican candidates who were included in Pew’s poll, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had the best overall favorability rating among “conservative voters,” while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had the worst.
Bush was also seen as the most favorable and unfavorable among “moderate/liberal” Republican respondents:
The poll’s results, which shows support for the large and diverse crowd competing for the 2016 GOP nomination, could likely make the Republican National Committee’s debate decisions a tougher issue.
Last Friday Politico reported that the RNC is considering limiting the debates to a maximum of 12 candidates. They would select participants based who has the highest polling numbers.
The news even led White House hopeful Ben Carson to pen a letter to the RNC over the weekend, where he requested that all serious candidates be allowed eligibility to participate in the debate season, slated to begin in August.