The poll does show a clear top tier of candidates currently perceived as both worthy of support and electable by the activists. By those measures, Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio currently stand well above their rivals.
Walker earns a few superlatives. Alone among the candidates, he’s viewed “very favorably” by more than half of the activists surveyed. Just 5 percent say they wouldn’t back him under any circumstances. He’s also seen as the kind of candidate who could build a strong consensus: 61 percent of activists believe Walker would be acceptable to most Republicans, and 59 percent think he’s capable of winning the Republican nomination. Fifty-five percent think he’s also capable of going on to win in November.
Rubio also outscores most of the Republican field on those measures, rating just below Walker. Forty-eight percent view him very favorably, and 58 percent think he’d be acceptable to most Republicans; 57 percent and 51 percent, respectively, say he could win the nomination and the general election. Only 8 percent say they’d never consider voting for him.