Since 1960, no candidate for president has won the general election without taking at least two out of three key swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. That’s why the shocking results of a brand new poll focusing on voter sentiment in those three battleground states is so significant as the 2016 race heats up.
And this just-released survey from Quinnipiac University shows the heat is on Hillary, as Donald Trump on the right and Joe Biden on the left are both nipping at her heels.
Even though he is undeclared — he’s made no official announcement about whether he will actually enter the race — Vice President Joe Biden is preferred over the presumed Democrat nominee by a significant number of voters in all three swing states.
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In fact, Quinnipiac says that in hypothetical matchups Biden outperforms Trump, who is still seen as the GOP front-runner: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are clear winners in the Democratic and Republican primaries in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Vice President Joseph Biden runs as well as or better than Clinton against top Republicans in general election matchups in these key swing states….”
Despite his continuing lead over GOP rivals in this latest major poll, the billionaire businessman from New York doesn’t fare as well as two other Republican candidates from the South in the swing state survey:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida both run better than Trump against Clinton, Biden or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, notes that Hillary’s negatives are haunting her in an ever-worsening way: “Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are like a leaky faucet: drip…drip… drip. She is now getting less than half the vote in all three states’ Democratic primaries,” Brown added. “Perhaps most telling is how poorly she scores when all voters in these three key states are asked about her empathy, honesty and temperament.”
In its coverage of the new poll, Politico observes that the front-runners within their respective parties are both plagued by disturbing perceptions among voters — perceptions that could imperil their candidacies should they make it to the 2016 general election.
“Trump and Clinton lead the way despite having some of the lowest favorability and trustworthiness ratings among registered voters in all three states polled, though the ratings improve when the two are just polled among their respective parties, says Politico. “Still, Democratic voters in all three states recorded higher net favorability ratings for Biden than they did for Clinton. Trump is around the middle of the pack in net favorability among GOP voters.”
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With regard to Biden’s decision about a possible 2016 run, CNN reported earlier this week that sources familiar with insider conversations and considerations say “there is a general consensus that October 1 is as late as the VP could wait to decide.”
Among the insiders’ info, says CNN, is a theoretical look at a campaign strategy should the vice president jump into the nominating contest.
…in the view of several people involved, the best way to think of the possibility is with the framework of a four-state initial strategy: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The idea here is that, if Biden were to run, the first four contests on the nominating calendar would deliver a clear verdict as to whether he had a real chance to knock Clinton from her front-runner status….
Of course, that’s assuming Hillary doesn’t knock herself out of the pole position in the Democrat race. Her declining popularity reflected in sinking poll numbers — resulting largely from Emailgate and other scandals swirling around the former first lady — indicate that self-destruction is a real possibility.