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US Republicans Favor Rubio, Walker Ahead of First Presidential Debate

© AP Photo / Harrison McClaryUS Senator Florida Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 10, 2015
US Senator Florida Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 10, 2015 - Sputnik International
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US Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have the highest favorability ratings among Republican voters ahead of the first presidential debate of the 2016 elections cycle, a Gallup poll revealed on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday evening, the top 10 Republican presidential candidates will hold a debate on Fox News. The candidates were selected based on their standing in five major opinion polls.

“Just ahead of the first official Republican debate of the 2016 presidential campaign, Republicans give Marco Rubio and Scott Walker the highest net favorable ratings among any of the major 16 candidates running for their party's nomination,” the poll read.

Rubio and Walker together scored a net favorable rating of 38 percentage points, followed by former neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 35, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at 33 and former Texas Governor Rick Perry at 32.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally and picnic, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Oskaloosa, Iowa - Sputnik International
Trump, Bush and Walker to Lead Republican Candidates in Fox Debate
Republican presidential candidates at the lower tier of Gallup’s poll include Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 29, former Florida governor and the son and younger brother of two US Presidents — Jeb Bush at 25, followed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 23 and billionaire Donald Trump at 18.

In recent weeks, Trump and Bush have taken the lead in many of the latest election polls, while Rubio, Paul and Cruz have had lower approval ratings.

The first primary election for Republican voters is still six months away in New Hampshire, but the first debate on Thursday could set or change popular perceptions of US presidential candidates.

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