A new survey of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire has billionaire developer Donald Trump placing a strong second to Jeb Bush, if the first presidential primary of the 2016 presidental race were held today.
The billionaire developer and creator of TV’s “Apprentice” reality series also was the most disliked in the field, according to the Suffolk University poll of 500 New Hampshire voters.
The survey showed about 11 percent favored Trump, to 14 percent for Bush, the former Florida governor. It’s a surprising showing for Trump, the creator and host of the “Apprentice” reality series. The New Hampshire vote follows the Iowa caucus as strong gauges going into the primary season.
Among the 20 or so GOP candidates expected on the ballot, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was third with 8 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fourth with 7 percent.
Asked to give a second choice, 14 percent chose Bush, to 13 percent for Rubio, 10 percent for Walker and 7 percent for Trump.
The poll also gave Trump the lone unfavorable rating, with only 37 percent of the respondents with a favorable opinion and 49 percent with an unfavorable opinion. Rubio was considered the most favorable, at 61 percent.
The survey was conducted June 18-22, the week after Trump announced his run for the White House.
Respondents were near-evenly divided by gender, with 95 percent very or somewhat likely to vote in the primary. Suffolk, based in Boston, said the margin of error is 4.4 points.