The most recent NBC/WSJ poll shows that Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina are currently in the best shape to win the nomination even though all three currently trail Donald Trump. That’s because these three have the highest percentages of GOP voters who say they could see themselves supporting each person. They also have low numbers of people who say they could not see themselves supporting them, giving them a very high net ratio of potential supporters to potential non-supporters.
Carson scored best, with a net +46 percent ratio (69 percent say they could back him; 23 percent say they can’t). Then came Rubio with +36 percent (63 support, 27 non-support) and Fiorina at +33 (61–28).
Jeb Bush had a large number of GOP voters who said they could back him (55 percent) and a large number who said they could not (43 percent). No other candidate had more than 50 percent say they could see themselves backing that person.
These numbers are likely to change as the race heats up, but it shows that many candidates are not currently broadly acceptable to enough of the GOP’s four factions to eventually prevail when the field narrows.