PPP's newest national poll finds that Hillary Clinton generally holds modest leads over the Republican field for President, with Ben Carson faring the strongest among the GOP hopefuls.
Carson earns a tie with Clinton at 44%, and he actually leads Bernie Sanders 42/36 in a head to head. Carson is the only declared candidate with a positive favorability rating- 41% of voters nationally see him positively to only 30% who have a negative opinion. He earns a tie with Clinton on the basis of a 43/35 advantage with independents.
The other candidates who come really close to Clinton are Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, who are each down by just 2. Fiorina trails Clinton 45/43, and is down 39/38 to Sanders. Trump is down just 2 points as well at 46/44, and he leads Sanders 43/42. It used to be that nominating Trump looked like it would be an unmitigated disaster for the GOP but as he's gotten stronger in Republican polls, he's also gotten stronger in general election polling and is now doing better against Clinton than the perceived 'electable' candidate trio of Bush, Rubio, and Walker. Interestingly Joe Biden actually does far better than both Clinton and Sanders against Trump, with a 6 point advantage at 47/41. Biden joins Carson as the second person with a positive rating in this poll at 43/40.
The news of Trump possibly forgoing a third party bid is very good for the GOP. We find that he would actually earn more support than Jeb Bush in a three way contest, getting 27% to Bush's 23% and leaving Clinton with a landslide victory at 42%. Bush leads Trump only 46/44 with Republican voters in that scenario, and gets 31% of independents to only 19% for Bush.