WASHINGTON -- Republicans like Jeb Bush. And a lot really don’t like Donald Trump.
In fact, more than half find Trump a distraction from the primary process, not a serious candidate.
With the first Republican presidential debate coming up Thursday, a new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents personally like Bush, saying they view him favorably rather than unfavorably. Large numbers also like Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee, far more than dislike them.
But nearly half dislike Trump, suggesting that the billionaire businessman who leads national Republican polls will have a hard time reaching those personally hostile voters and growing his constituency, while a host of others have room to surge.
The debate in Cleveland, the first of a monthly series, will feature the 10 Republicans, plus ties, atop an average of national polls. As many as seven other candidates will not qualify and instead can participate in a late afternoon forum.