A new poll from Quinnipiac finds Vice President Joe Biden polling better against potential Republican rivals than Hillary Clinton is.
The differences are small and within the poll’s margin of error, but will likely heighten anxiety among senior Democrats that Hillary is not their most competitive nominee for next year’s Presidential contest.
In the new Quinnipiac poll, Jeb Bush edges Clinton in a hypothetical match-up. Clinton holds a one-point lead over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Biden, though, bests Bush and is tied with Walker.
Both Clinton and Biden beat Trump by 12 points. Even socialist Bernie Sanders leads Trump by 8 points.
The real trouble for Clinton, and a possible opening for Biden, is revealed deeper in the poll, beyond the head-to-head match-up numbers.
Voters say “honest and trustworthy” is the most important attribute they want in a Presidential candidate. It edges even the empathy quality; “cares about people like me.” On both measures, though, Hillary fails.
Almost 60 percent of voters, 57 percent, do not think Hillary is honest or trustworthy. These are the worse numbers she’s ever received on this question. Even one-in-five Democrats say that Hillary is not honest.
A majority of voters, 52 percent, don’t think Hillary cares about the issues and problems they face. This is also the worst Hillary has polled on this question. With the exception of Donald Trump, every other candidate tested, Republican and Democrat, scores better than Hillary on this question.
Joe Biden scores much better than Hillary on both of these issues. A strong majority of voters, 58 percent, believe the Vice President is honest. A similar majority, 57 percent, believe Biden cares about them and the issues they face.
Unsurprisingly, Biden has a much higher favorablity rating than Hillary. Hillary’s net favorable rating is -11 points. A majority of voters, 51 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her.
Biden’s net favorable rating is a positive 10 points. Almost half of the voters, 49 percent, hold a favorable view of him, 9 points higher than Hillary. His favorable rating essentially matches his polling from just after first winning the Vice-Presidency in 2008.
Hillary, for all her fundraising and institutional advantages, faces a critical existential challenge. Voters don’t like her, don’t trust her and don’t believe she cares about them.
Joe Biden may want to stay by his phone over the long, hot summer.