Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Scott Walker (copy)

Gov. Scott Walker, a likely presidential candidate, speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.

ALONZO ADAMS — Associated Press

Depending on how you slice it, Gov. Scott Walker is leading the pack — or sitting right in the middle of it — of likely Republican presidential candidates for 2016.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday shows Walker among five likely Republican candidates receiving support from 10 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters. Both CNN and Fox News have said only candidates finishing in the top 10 in national polls will be invited to participate in presidential debates. 

Based on the latest poll, Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida make up the the top five.

Also making the cut, based on this poll, would be Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, real estate tycoon Donald Trump, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The Democratic field is more definitive, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 57 percent, down 60 percent from April, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 15 percent and Vice President Joe Biden at 9 percent.

If the general election were held between Walker and Clinton, Clinton would lead 46-38 percent.

Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, called the Republicans a "scrambled field."

For Walker, April and May have brought his numbers more in line with other candidates. He had the highest poll numbers of any GOP candidate in March, at 18 percent, with Bush close behind at 16 percent. In April, Walker was at 11 percent, with Bush at 13 percent and Rubio at 15 percent. 

As Madison as it gets: Get Cap Times' highlights sent daily to your inbox

While the race for a frontrunner is tight, the numbers change when the poll looks at who voters would not support.

Twenty-one percent of those asked said they definitely would not support Trump, while 17 percent said the same of Bush and 15 percent said it of Christie. Just three percent said they definitely would not support Walker. 

Since March, Walker's favorability rating has remained mostly steady. Twenty-three percent said they viewed the governor favorably in March, compared to 24 percent in April and 22 percent in May. 

His unfavorable rating has climbed very slightly since last month. Starting at 24 percent in March, it went down to 21 percent in April. This month, 25 percent view Walker unfavorably. But 50 percent say they haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.