PPP's newest look ahead to the 2016 race for President finds just how strong Hillary Clinton is relative to other potential Democratic candidates.
Clinton narrowly trails Chris Christie right now in a hypothetical match up at 45/42. That's owing largely to a 49/26 advantage among independent voters. We also tested four other potential Democratic candidates against Christie though, and they would all trail him by double digits. John Kerry has an 11 point deficit against Christie at 46/35, Joe Biden is down 14 at 49/35, Elizabeth Warren trails by 16 at 49/33, and Howard Dean would lag by 22 at 51/29.
Christie's the strongest candidate for President right now because he's viewed favorably across party lines. He's at 48/26 with Republicans, 46/28 with independents, and 38/36 with Democrats. Clinton would start out ahead of all the other potential GOP candidates we tested against her on this poll- she's up 5 on Jeb Bush and Rand Paul at 48/43, 6 on Mike Huckabee at 48/42, and 8 on Ted Cruz at 49/41.
In addition to being the strongest general election Christie also leads the Republican field. He gets 19% to 14% for Ted Cruz, 13% for Mike Huckabee, 11% for Rand Paul, 10% for Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, 7% for Marco Rubio, 4% for Scott Walker, and 3% for Bobby Jindal.
Huckabee actually has the highest favorability of the Republicans we tested, at 65/14. But only 20% of those with a positive opinion of him say he'd be their first choice for President. By contrast Christie only has a 47/29 favorability rating, but 37% who have a positive view of him also support him for President. There's a greater intensity among those who do have a favorable opinion.
If you take Huckabee out of the equation Christie's support increases to 23% with Cruz at 15%, Bush and Paul at 12%, Ryan at 11%, Rubio at 8%, Walker at 6%, and Jindal at 4%.
There continues to be no challenge to Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. We threw Howard Dean and John Kerry into the equation for the first time this month but Clinton still gets 66% to 10% for Joe Biden, 6% for Elizabeth Warren, 2% each for Cory Booker, Andrew Cuomo, Dean, Kerry, and Martin O'Malley, and 1% for Brian Schweitzer. Clinton is at 58% or more with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, Latinos, seniors, and young voters.
If you take Clinton out of the mix Biden would still be the front runner even if Kerry and Dean were in the field. He gets 35% to 13% for Kerry and Warren, 7% for Booker and Cuomo, 4% for Dean and O'Malley, and 1% for Schweitzer. Warren leads a field where the other big names stay out with 24% to 14% for Cuomo, 13% for Booker, 7% for O'Malley, and 2% for Schweitzer.