PPP's newest Republican primary poll for 2016 finds essentially a four way tie at the top of the pack. Chris Christie and Rand Paul both get 16%, followed by Ted Cruz at 15%, and Jeb Bush at 14%. Paul Ryan at 11%, Marco Rubio at 10%, Bobby Jindal at 6%, and Rick Santorum at 5% round out the field.
The biggest change compared to a month ago is a 5 point decline in Cruz's support from its peak in the immediate aftermath of his long speech on the Senate floor. Bush has seen a three point increase in his support and Christie's had a two point bump, with Paul, Rubio, and Ryan all within a point of where they were last time.
There are massive ideological splits in who Republicans support. Among voters identifying as 'very conservative' Christie gets only 3%, with Cruz leading at 26% followed by Paul at 18%, Bush at 15%, and Ryan at 13%. But with moderates Christie and Cruz's numbers are nearly flipped with Cruz getting only 5% to 36% for Christie, 18% for Bush, and 10% for Paul.
There has been much talk about the GOP trying to reframe its image in the aftermath of last year's election results, but some of the findings on this poll would indicate they have a long way to go. By a 43/37 margin primary voters think it's appropriate for high school students to wear confederate flags to school. By a 28/57 margin they think it's inappropriate for students to wear gay pride flags to school. And by a 29 point margin, 38/9, they think it's more appropriate to wear a confederate flag to school than a gay pride flag.
There are big divides in who Republicans support for President based on the confederate flag/gay pride flag appropriateness issues. Voters who think the gay pride flag is more appropriate give Christie 31% for 2016, followed by Paul at 15%, and Bush and Ryan at 11%. But with those who think the confederate flag is more appropriate, Cruz gets 22% to 19% for Paul with Bush, Christie, and Ryan all back at 12%.
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton continues to be dominant. 67% of primary voters want her to be the party standard bearer in 2016 to 12% for Joe Biden and 4% for Elizabeth Warren, with nobody else polling above 2%. Clinton has over 60% support from liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, young voters, and seniors alike.
If Clinton didn't run Biden would lead the field with 27% to 19% for Warren, 6% each for Cory Booker and Andrew Cuomo, 4% for Kirsten Gillibrand, and 3% for Martin O'Malley. Those numbers represent a pretty big shift from 6 months ago when Biden got 38% in a Clinton-less field to 13% for Cuomo and 10% for Warren. Warren's on the rise and Biden's on the decline.
In a Biden-less field Warren is now the clear leader with 23% to 14% for Booker, 13% for Cuomo, 4% for O'Malley, and 3% for Gillibrand. That's a big shift compared to 6 months ago as well. In May Cuomo led Warren 25/17 in our iteration of the field that didn't include either Clinton or Biden.
Hillary Clinton continues to be the overall frontrunner for 2016, leading all of her potential Republican opponents by at least 5 points. Chris Christie comes the closest at 44/39, followed by Jeb Bush at 48/39, and Rand Paul at 49/37. Clinton's average lead of 9 points in these head to heads is up from an average lead of 4 points on our July poll, perhaps another outgrowth of the shutdown. Clinton leads Ted Cruz 50/33- that 17 point margin would be the most a Democrat has won by since Barry Goldwater was on the ballot.
Joe Biden does considerably worse than Clinton in head to heads with the Republicans. He trails Christie 45/38 and gets edged by Bush 43/42, although he does lead Paul 45/38 and Cruz 46/36. On average Biden does 9 points worse than Clinton across these four match ups.
Full results here