The latest poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) fares the best among the presumed 2016 Republican presidential candidates against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with independent voters, and is one of the top three contenders overall against her.
The poll was conducted from March 26th through March 31st of 989 registered voters, 80 percent by telephone, and 20 percent over the internet to reach respondents without landline phones. The margin of error was +/- 3.1 percent.
Clinton still leads the entire Republican field by 3 to 9 points, but has dropped from the 7 to 10 point advantage she had in PPP’s February poll.
Paul, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) were the strongest matchups against Clinton out of all potential Republican contenders, and had statistically identical results. Clinton leads Paul 46 percent to 42 percent, Walker by the same margin, and Rubio 46 percent to 43 percent.
Paul performed the best out of all Republicans with independent voters, beating Clinton by 14 points, 47 percent to 33 percent.
Noteworthy among the full results of the poll is Question 25, which asked poll respondents if they voted for President Barack Obama (D) or former Gov. Mitt Romney (R) in the 2012 election. Forty-eight percent said they voted for Obama, 43 percent for Romney, and 9 percent said “someone else/don’t remember.” The actual results of the 2012 election were 51.1 percent for Obama and 47.2 percent for Romney, indicating that this poll may be slightly skewed in favor of Democrats.
The responses to Question 28 further confirms this, with 39 percent of poll respondents identifying as Democrat, 31 percent as Republican, and 31 percent identifying as “Independent/Other.”
Indeed, the way that the Democratic-leaning PPP promoted this poll seems favorable to Clinton, touting her as someone who “leads [the] GOP field nationally” in the headline. Considering Obama’s low favorability ratings — 53 percent of poll respondents disapproved of his job performance — a more balanced poll could conceivably show even stronger results for the top GOP contenders, especially among independent voters.
Paul officially launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday in Louisville, Kentucky.
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