A new poll from Quinnipiac suggests the speculation about a possible presidential run by Vice President Joe Biden isn’t going away as we pass Labor Day. While Hillary Clinton still leads the race for the Democrat nomination, Biden performs better against potential GOP rivals than Clinton.
In hypothetical match-ups with potential GOP rivals, Biden beats Trump by 8 points (48-40); Bush by 6 points (45-39); and Rubio by 3 points (44-41).
Clinton bests Trump by just 4 points (45-41); Bush by 2 (42-40; and, Rubio by just 1 (44-43). None of Clinton’s leads against GOP rivals is outside the poll’s margin of error.
The overall poll itself shows the difficult road Democrats face in the general election next year. The Quinnipiac poll is of registered voters, which tends to favor Democrats more than the actual results on election day. Both Biden and Clinton lose to their GOP rivals among independent voters. Biden does edge Bush with Independents by a slim 2 points. In every other possible match-up, though, the GOP win Independents.
In the race for the Democrat nomination, Clinton does still hold an edge. She currently has 45 percent support for the nod while Sanders trails with 22 percent. Biden has just 18 percent, but this likely understates his support since he isn’t yet a candidate.
Biden is much more popular than Clinton, even among Democrat voters. He has a net-positive rating among Democrats of +77 points. Clinton is +65 points and Sanders is +46.
Clinton’s favorability rating among Independents, though, is -33 points. She is more unpopular among Independents than Barack Obama.
The existential challenge for Clinton is that she is considered the least honest and trustworthy of any candidate running, in either party. Almost 70 percent of Independent voters don’t consider her honest.
Clinton may or may not with the Democrat nomination. The Quinnipiac poll suggests, though, that she almost certainly will not win the general. Biden may be the only Democrat who can.