Hillary Clinton’s health has been in the news a lot over the last month but it hasn’t changed the desire Americans are feeling for her to be President in 2016. Our newest national poll finds Clinton with a wide lead both among Democratic primary voters and against most of the big Republican names thought to be top contenders for their party’s nomination.
57% of Democrats would like Clinton to be their candidate in 2016. Only Joe Biden at 16% also hits double digits. Beyond them it’s Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren at 4%, Martin O’Malley at 3%, Deval Patrick and Mark Warner at 2%, and Kirsten Gillibrand and Brian Schweitzer at 1%.
If Clinton and Biden sit it out, it’s an incredibly wide open race. Cuomo gets 19%, Warren 16%, O’Malley 7%, Patrick 6%, Gillibrand 5%, Warner 4%, and Schweitzer 2% but the big winner is ‘undecided’ at 40%. The high level of indecision is a function of most of the Democrats being relatively unknown- Warren (60%) and Cuomo (56%) have slightly over 50% name recognition, but none of the others are over 30%.
Clinton looks pretty strong in very early general election match ups as well. She has 14 point leads over Paul Ryan (53/39), Jeb Bush (51/37), and Marco Rubio (also 51/37).
The most epic possible 2016 match up at this early point would be between Clinton and Chris Christie. She leads him just 44-42. But our poll indicates getting the Republican nomination could prove to be quite a challenge for Christie. Right now Rubio leads the GOP field with 21% to 16% for Ryan, 15% for Mike Huckabee, 14% for Christie and Bush, 5% for Rand Paul, 3% for Bobby Jindal, and 2% each for Susana Martinez and Rick Perry.
The independent streak that makes Christie such a strong potential general election candidate also hurts him with GOP primary voters. His +15 net favorability rating at 44/29 is the weakest of any of the Republicans within the party base except for Martinez, who’s relatively unknown, and Perry whose disastrous 2012 bid for the office has left him with mediocre numbers.
Christie polls at 32% among moderate Republicans as their top choice for the office in 2016…but at only 4% among voters describing themselves as ‘very conservative.’ Needless to say that furthest right wing of the party has become more and more and more powerful in party primaries over the last few years and it would be hard for Christie to win the GOP nomination without getting more support there.
Rubio’s early lead is based on his support among those most conservative voters. He gets 29% with them to 22% for Huckabee and 21% for Ryan. This is the second consecutive month we’ve found Rubio with the lead in our super early GOP polling.