Clinton leads General, Primary

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest national poll finds Hillary Clinton leading all of her potential Republican candidates by between 7 and 10 points. She has 7 point advantages over Rand Paul (47/40), and Rick Perry and Marco Rubio (48/41). She has 8 point advantages over Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker all at 48/40. Her advantage over Mike Huckabee is 9 points at 50/41, and she’s up 10 points each over Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 50/40.

What’s really striking about Clinton’s numbers against the Republicans is how steady they are no matter who she’s pitted against. Clinton is between 47-50% against all 9 of the GOP hopefuls, and each of the GOP hopefuls is polling at either 40 or 41%. This is quite different from 2012 when Mitt Romney tended to be a good deal stronger against Barack Obama than all of the other GOP contenders.

There is a pretty big electability difference on the Democratic side though. In the off chance that Clinton were not to run for President, both Joe Biden (45/39) and Elizabeth Warren (43/41) would trail Jeb Bush in hypothetical contests. We’ve pretty consistently found Clinton running about 10 points better against the Republican field than potential Democratic alternatives. 

There’s been a lot of debate about the impact George W. Bush’s unpopularity might have on the Presidential contest, but he’s not nearly as unpopular as he used to be. Americans are pretty evenly divided in their feelings about him with 45% rating him favorably to 46% who have an unfavorable opinion. That actually makes him a good deal more popular with the public than his brother- Jeb Bush registers right now at a 29/45 favorability. Although President Bush may not be a huge liability, he’s not an asset in the way Bill Clinton has the potential to be for Hillary either. President Clinton has a 49% favorability rating, higher than any Presidential candidate for next year, with 42% viewing him unfavorably.

The key to Clinton’s early leads over the Republican field is that in addition to having the Democratic base strongly unified behind her, she’s also getting a substantial amount of support from GOP voters. Anywhere from 15 to 20% of Republicans say they’d vote for Clinton in match ups with everyone except Rand Paul right now, against whom she gets 12% of the Republican vote.  She only loses 9-10% of the Democratic vote in every match up except the one against Christie, who gets 12%. There are more Democrats than Republicans in the country to begin with, and when you combine that with having a more unified party it gives Clinton her solid early leads. Whether Clinton will be able to hold on to that Republican support once the party gets behind a candidate remains to be seen but she has it for now.

Clinton also remains dominant in the Democratic primary field. 54% of the party’s voters want her to be their candidate to 16% for Joe Biden, 12% for Elizabeth Warren, 5% for Bernie Sanders, 2% for Jim Webb, and 1% for Martin O’Malley. If Biden and Warren don’t end up making the race Sanders appears to have a little bit of separation from the bottom tier that could make him Clinton’s leading rival. 

Clinton has more than 50% support for the Democratic nomination with liberals, moderates, women, whites, Hispanics, African Americans, younger voters, and seniors. The only 2 demographic groups we track where she falls a little bit short of that mark are men and middle aged voters.

Full results here

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