PPP's newest- and perhaps final- poll on the national GOP race finds Mitt Romney running away with 54% of the Republican vote to 24% for Newt Gingrich and 14% for Ron Paul. Those numbers don't suggest Gingrich will have much of an ability to compete in any of the remaining primaries. Romney's net favorability is now +42 at 65/23, a 23 point improvement from a month ago when he was at +19 (54/35).
Romney is now winning all of the groups that he had struggled with over the course of the primary season. He's up 47-35 on Gingrich with Tea Partiers, 50-30 with Evangelicals, and 48-33 with 'very conservative' voters. The most striking number in the poll may be Romney's 72/16 favorability with Tea Party voters. That's definitely indicative of a party base ready to get on the same page.
Since the primary's gotten boring and there's a glut of Obama/Romney polls out there we decided to skip ahead and take a super early look at the 2016 primaries.
The Democratic nomination at this point is Hillary Clinton's for the taking if she wants it. She has an amazing 86/10 favorability rating with Democratic voters. In a dream field Clinton gets 57% to 14 for Joe Biden, 6% for Elizabeth Warren, 5% for Andrew Cuomo, 3% for Russ Feingold, 2% for Mark Warner, and 1% each for Martin O'Malley and Brian Schweitzer.
Clinton's appeal to the various different constituencies of the Democratic Party is pretty universal. She's at 58% with 'very liberal' voters, 56% with moderates, 60% with women, 52% with men, 59% with whites, 54% with African Americans, 51% with Hispanics, 64% with seniors, and 44% with young voters.
And in Biden and Clintonless field Cuomo leads with 27% to 9% for Warren, 8% for Feingold, 4% each for O'Malley and Warner, and 2% for Schweitzer. Cuomo is the only candidate in that version of the field with better than 50% name recognition, boasting a 32/24 favorability rating. Feingold and Warren each have about 45% name recognition while O'Malley, Warner, and Schweitzer are all pretty much completely unknown.
We also looked at the 2016 Republican field if Romney is not the nominee again. There's a clear top tier consisting of Chris Christie at 21% and Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush at 17%. Rick Santorum's further back at 12% and Marco Rubio at 10%, Paul Ryan at 7%, Rand Paul at 4%, and Bobby Jindal at 3% round out the names we tested. It seems unlikely Santorum would be the front runner in a repeat bid.
Other notes on those numbers:
-Bush is the only Republican with a greater than 70% favorability rating, at 71/13.
-Most of the big potential GOP 2016 names have more than 50% name recognition- there are a lot more known quantities in the mix for Republicans that cycle than there are for the Democrats.
-GOP voters clearly see Rand Paul, who has a solid 42/20 favorability rating, in a different light than his dad, who's at 36/49.
-Huckabee is the most popular potential 2016 hopeful besides Bush with a 69/15 favorability rating and would start out with an edge among Evangelicals at 24% to 16% for Santorum.
-Christie has a double digit lead with voters under 45, a group the GOP's had trouble appealing to over the last few election cycles.
Full results here