Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waits to speak at the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 4, 2015 in Detroit.
Bill Pugliano—Getty Images
February 8, 2015 5:41 PM EST

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has an early advantage in the key presidential primary state of New Hampshire, according to a new poll, but the race remains wide open a year before the election.

The Saint Anselm College survey released Sunday found Bush topping a crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls with 16% of the vote, followed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 13%, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 12% and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 10%. No other candidate cracks double digits.

New Hampshire holds the first-in-the-nation primary, shortly after the Iowa caucuses next February, and along with a small handful of early-voting states plays an outsize role in determining presidential-nomination fights.

The poll also points at a potentially tough general election climate for Bush in the swing state if he secures the Republican nomination. Half of likely general election voters there view him unfavorably and only 35% view him favorably. That’s compared to 54% of voters who have favorable views of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic front-runner.

MORE: Wisconsin Governor Leads Tight 2016 Race in Iowa

The survey, conducted Jan. 31 to Feb. 5, has a margin of error of 4.9% for the primary and 4.4% for the general election.

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