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Politics & Policy

New Poll: Clinton Still Strong in Democratic Primary, Weakening in the General Election

In response to Hubble Trouble

A new Quinnipiac poll is illustrating how Democratic loyalty (or stubbornness) could lead directly to defeat next November. Even while Hillary is maintaining a huge — 18-point — lead over her rivals for the Democratic nomination, she’s increasingly vulnerable to potential Republican challengers. First, the primary numbers:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets 43 percent of Democrats, with 25 percent for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 18 percent for Biden and 10 percent undecided.

Only 11 percent of Democrats say they “would definitely not support” Clinton.

Jim has already reported the Republican results, but here’s an additional data point for those who think we may have reached “Peak Trump” — more Republicans definitely oppose him than support him:

Trump leads the Republican primary pack with 25 percent, followed by 17 percent for Carson, 12 percent for Fiorina, 10 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 9 percent for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. No other candidate tops 7 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

But 29 percent of GOP voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump.

On the general-election side, things get interesting. Biden is the Democrats’ strongest candidate, while Carson is easily the strongest Republican. Fiorina hangs tough with both Clinton and Sanders:

In head-to-head matchups, Clinton gets 43 percent to 44 percent for Fiorina. Clinton trails Carson 49 – 42 percent. She gets 42 percent to 44 percent for Bush and gets 45 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.

Biden gets 46 percent to 43 percent for Fiorina and beats Bush 46 – 41 percent and Trump 51 – 40 percent. Biden and Carson are tied 45 – 45 percent.

Sanders gets 43 percent to Fiorina’s 44 percent and ties Bush 44 – 44 percent. Sanders trails Carson 49 – 39 percent and tops Trump 47 – 42 percent.

The Sanders numbers are intriguing — giving ammunition to supporters who claim he’s just as electable as Hillary. Interestingly, it seems like the Democrats might have some vulnerability in the black vote. Only Biden is pulling down numbers comparable to historic Democratic norms — with every major Republican candidate significantly outperforming at least a generation of prior Republican nominees. It’s of course quite early, but could there be an opening for a smart campaigner to fracture the Democrats’ “coalition of the ascendant?”

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