Fresh off of contentious budget negotiations, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is the leading pick among Republicans in the key presidential caucus state of Iowa, a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows.
The former vice presidential candidate has a 73 percent favorability rating, putting him at the forefront of the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates in the nation’s kick-off voting state.
He is followed by two former winners of the GOP caucuses in Iowa. Sixty-six percent also like Mike Huckabee and 58 percent go for Rick Santorum.
But their popularity isn’t as striking as the overwhelming affinity Iowa Democrats have for Hillary Rodham Clinton, with 89 percent saying they have a positive opinion about her, according to the Register. Just 7 percent have a negative impression the former U.S. secretary of state and senator from New York.
“Clinton’s score is eye-popping and shows she is viewed more favorably than any Democrat or Republican by a big margin,” Jeff Link, a Democratic political operative from Des Moines, told the Register.
Another key finding: Clinton has huge negatives among Republicans. She could energize the GOP base if she becomes a candidate. In all, 77 percent of Republicans said they have “very unfavorable” or “mostly unfavorable” opinion of her.
A majority of Republicans -- 59 percent -- gave Clinton the most negative rating.
“That’s a monster number,” pollster J. Ann Selzer told the Register. “Were she to be nominated, there would be a resurgence of this ‘We hate Hillary’ faction that has been dormant.”
Vice President Joe Biden is popular with 71 percent of Iowa Democrats.
The poll of 650 Iowa adults ages 18 and over was conducted Dec. 8-11 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines and has a margin of error of plus or minus 7.3 percentage points for Republicans and plus or minus 8.0 percentage points for Democrats.
Back on the GOP side, just over two years out from the 2016 Iowa caucuses -- the nation’s first vote on the potential presidential nominees -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry ranks fourth with a 55 percent favorability rating. Tied for fifth are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who are viewed favorably by 51% of Iowa Republicans.
But when it comes to negative feelings, Christie’s numbers are the worst among the potential GOP hopefuls. Thirty percent of those who consider themselves Republicans don’t like him.
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