A new survey released from Public Policy Polling (PPP) yesterday shows former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a very slight favorite to win the 2016 presidential election. According to the poll of 800 registered voters, Clinton has a bit more support (43 percent) than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (42 percent) among nationwide voters. Nationally, Clinton has led now in seven straight polls released by PPP, McClatchy/Marist and Quinnipiac since January.
While Christie matches up best against Clinton, the PPP poll also shows that he may struggle to win the Republican Party nomination should he decide to run in 2016. PPP also polled voters on who they would pick as the Republican candidate for president between Christie, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA). That poll found that Rand Paul had the support of 16 percent of voters, compared to 13 percent support for Christie and Ryan. Paul Ryan garnered 9 percent support, and Ted Cruz had the support of 7 percent of voters.
The problem for republicans is that Rand Paul does not match up well against Clinton. The same PPP poll found Clinton beating Paul by a healthy eight-point margin (47 percent to 39 percent). If Christie and Rand Paul fight it out in the Republican primary, one of the issues will surely be Paul’s electability, or lack thereof, against Clinton in the general primary. Today Christie already went on the attack against Paul, labeling Paul’s brand of libertarianism “dangerous” for the GOP.
For Democrats, Clinton is clearly the most electable candidate right now. The PPP poll found that Clinton garnered the support of 52 percent of voters in a potential Democratic primary featuring Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Vice President Biden garnered only 12 percent of the vote compared to Clinton, and Warren had the support of only 6 percent of voters.
Clinton also matches up the best against the potential Republican candidates. The PPP poll found that Biden trailed Christie in a potential matchup by six points (39 percent to 45 percent) and trailed Paul Ryan by three points (43 percent to 46 percent).
So Clinton is clearly the best candidate, at the moment, for Democrats, and she clearly is the favorite to win the nomination should she run.
Meanwhile, Christie is the best general election candidate for Republicans, but he may struggle to get beyond the first significant hurdle of the Republican primary.