Three out of four leading Republican presidential candidates would beat Democrat Hillary Clinton if the election for the White House were held today, a recent poll shows.
Quinnipiac’s November 4 poll measured Clinton against the four Republicans with the highest percentage of national GOP support for the nomination: Donald Trump, who in the poll has 24 percent support for the Republican nomination; Ben Carson, with 23 percent; Sen. Marco Rubio, with 14 percent; and Sen. Ted Cruz, with 13 percent.
The poll also included a fifth hypothetical matchup. Curiously, although former Gov. Jeb Bush comes in fifth in GOP support with 4 percent, in contrast with Gov. Chris Christie who has 3 percent and did not even qualify for the main stage for the upcoming Fox Business/Wall Street Journal debate—and despite the fact that Bush has an immensely larger war chest and campaign organization than Christie—Quinnipiac chose to poll Christie against Clinton, but not Bush.
Carson beats Clinton by the widest margin, 50 to 40 percent. This is followed by Rubio and Christie, both of whom beat her 46 to 41. Cruz would best Clinton 46 to 43. In this poll, Trump was the only major GOP contender Clinton would beat, by a margin of 46 to 43 percent (just barely outside the margin of error).
The poll shows the GOP nomination up for grabs. The leader—Trump, who at 24 percent leads Carson by one point—also has the highest percentage of Republicans who say they would definitely not support him, at 25 percent. Bush also faces a headwind, with 23 percent saying they would not support him.
On the critical question of whether a candidate is honest and trustworthy, Clinton fares the worst; 60 percent say she is not honest and cannot be trusted, while only 36 percent say she is.
The poll of 1,144 registered voters was conducted October 29–November 2, and has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.
Many experts are quick to point out that national polls this far out before the primaries are of little value, as a candidate’s financial strength, campaign organization, and durability on the campaign trail significantly impact those numbers over time. Moreover, national numbers do not reflect the reality that the nominating takes place at the state level, so political analysts focus more, instead, on the state-by-state polls of the early caucus and primary states, especially Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Ken Klukowski is legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.