POLITICS

Sen. Ted Cruz Among Most Favorable Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Poll Finds

FILE - This April 30, 2014 file photo shows Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cruz, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2016 is questioning whether President Barack Obama used a federal agency to impose an economic boycott on Israel after the Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid fighting between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo, J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - This April 30, 2014 file photo shows Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cruz, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2016 is questioning whether President Barack Obama used a federal agency to impose an economic boycott on Israel after the Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid fighting between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo, J. Scott Applewhite, File)  (ap)

A new online poll conducted by the Associated Press-GfK between July 24 to 28 asked 1,044 Americans about their impressions of nine potential 2016 presidential candidates. Here's how they responded.

Although the 2016 presidential campaign remains distant, Americans are getting to know those most likely to run. 

Hillary Clinton is best known; 9 in 10 offer an opinion about her. On the GOP side, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is best known, with nearly three-quarters offering an opinion on him.

Awareness increased significantly for all nine potential candidates tested, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren making the biggest gains. Even so, Warren is one of two who are least known: 56 percent don't know enough to have an opinion about her and 61 percent say the same about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Among Republicans, Jeb Bush is most popular possible candidate, with 56 percent holding a favorable opinion of the former Florida governor. 

Majorities also have positive impressions of Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz generates more positive (46 percent favorable) than negative (14 percent unfavorable) impressions, while Walker remains broadly unknown even within his own party — 57 percent don't have an opinion either way.

Christie generates mixed reviews, with 45 percent viewing him favorably, 35 percent unfavorably. Thirty-nine percent of conservative Republicans see Christie more negatively than other Republicans (26 percent), a potential hindrance should he face the deeply conservative GOP primary electorate.

Eight in 10 Democrats have a positive view of Clinton. She tops both Vice President Joe Biden, who had a 71 percent favorable rating and Warren, who had 33 percent favorability. Clinton's popularity crosses ideological lines, with 84 percent of liberals and 80 percent of other Democrats viewing her positively. Biden fares better among liberal Democrats: 80 percent favorable vs. 66 percent among other Democrats.

Most Democrats, 51 percent, say they don't know enough about Warren to have an opinion, but she is more popular among liberals (42 percent favorable) than moderate or conservative Democrats (28 percent).

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