Hillary Clinton is slightly ahead of all potential Republican White House contenders in the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll
, but has not yet reached the all-important 50 percent threshold.
The poll, released Wednesday, puts Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in a virtual tie with the former secretary of state in Colorado and Virginia; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a virtual tie with her in Colorado; and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a dead heat with her in Virginia.
"Several of the GOP contenders can take some solace from this poll, although Hillary Clinton remains queen of the public opinion hill at this point. The one GOPer for whom these numbers are a total drag is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
According to the poll, Christie's numbers came in lowest, as he trailed Clinton by margins of 5 to 10 percentage points in all three states.
In Colorado, where the poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus three points, Clinton got 43 percent of the 1,049 voters polled, compared to 36 percent for Bush, 40 percent for Walker, and 39 percent for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Clinton's margin among female voters ranged from 8 to 14 percentage points in her favor, the poll showed. Men were more closely divided, though Paul had an 8-point edge in his match-up with Clinton. Meanwhile, with independent voters, Clinton's margin was too close to call against Paul or Walker, but she came in 7 points higher over Bush and Christie.
Meanwhile, Colorado voters did not give any of the candidates a high favorability rating. Clinton's was split at 46-47 percent; Christie's was 26-47 percent; Bush, 29 to 43 percent; Paul's split at 33 percent, and Huckabee's at 33-34 percent. Walker did get a positive favorability rating, at 24-12 percent, but 54 percent of the voters said they did not know enough about him to form an opinion.
Just over a third of Colorado voters, 39 percent, said the fact that Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother to former President George W. Bush makes them less likely to vote for him. Eight percent said they were more likely because of the family connection, and 52 percent said that would not affect their votes.
When it comes to Clinton, 24 percent of the Colorado voters said they were less likely to vote for her because of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, while 15 percent said that would make their vote more likely and 59 percent saying it would not affect their vote.
And 74 percent of the Colorado voters said it would not affect their votes either way if Clinton was to become the first female president.
In Iowa, Clinton took 45 percent of the 1,089 voters polled, with a plus or minus three point margin of error. Huckabee got 38 percent; Paul 37 percent; Christie 34 percent; Bush 35 percent; and Walker 35 percent.
Clinton's lead among women ranged from 20 to 28 percentage points, but she trailed among Iowa men by three to 14 percentage points. She had a lead of nine to 16 percentage points among independent voters.
She scored a 49-40 percent favorability rating, compared to 28-38 percent for Christie; 25-34 percent for Bush; 35-33 percent for Huckabee; and 21-23 percent for Walker.
Seventy-seven percent of the voters said it would not make any difference to them if Clinton was the first female president.
"Iowa is where Hillary Clinton does best, especially among those critical independent voters, a key swing group in a key swing state," Brown said.
In Virginia, Bush and Clinton came out with a 42-percent tie among the 1,074 voters polled. In comparison, Clinton scored 44 percent over Paul's 42; 44 percent over Huckabee's 41 percent; 44 percent over Christie's 39; and topped Walker by a 45-40 percent difference.
Independent voters picked Clinton by a 12 percentage point margin, but other margins were too close to call.
Clinton's favorability rating was nearly even in Virginia, with a 48-44 percent rating, compared to 36-35 for Bush; 36-38 for Christie; 31-32 percent for Paul; tied for Huckabee at 36 percent; and favorable for Walker at 24-17 percent, but 57 percent said they did not know enough about him to decide.
"Virginia was once a solidly red state before it tipped to President Barack Obama, but now seems to hold some promise for Republicans running against Hillary Clinton," Brown said.
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