PPP poll: Jeb strongest against Hillary, but Huckabee leads GOP

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Public Policy Polling’s regular look at the 2016 Presidential race really shows how important it is for the party that Hillary Clinton run in 2016. She leads Mike Huckabee 49/42 in a hypothetical contest. By contrast Joe Biden would trail Huckabee 46/41 in a hypothetical match, and Elizabeth Warren would trail 44/33. This is one of the most massive electability gaps we’ve ever seen.

Clinton also leads the rest of the Republican field in potential contests, although some of the match ups are pretty close. Jeb Bush is the strongest GOP hopeful, trailing by only 3 points at 47/44 and Chris Christie isn’t far behind with a 4 point deficit at 46/42. Clinton leads Rand Paul and Paul Ryan each by 5 points at 47/42 and 48/43 respectively, Marco Rubio by 8 points at 48/40, and Ted Cruz by 11 points at 51/40.

There’s been a lot of Mitt Romney nostalgia of late but we find little evidence his image has improved since losing the 2012 contest to Barack Obama. Romney has a 38/48 favorability rating and trails Clinton 48/43 in a hypothetical contest, slightly worse than his margin of defeat against Obama. Romney’s net favorability is worse than every potential 2016 GOP contender we looked at on this poll except for Ted Cruz.

For the second time in a row Mike Huckabee leads the national Republican field for 2016. Huckabee’s at 18% to 15% for Jeb Bush, 14% each for Chris Christie and Rand Paul, 11% for Ted Cruz, 6% for Marco Rubio, 5% for Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, and 4% for Bobby Jindal.

Those numbers are virtually identical to what they were in late January. For Chris Christie that’s good news at least in the sense that he’s stopped the bleeding. He’s up a tick from 13% a month ago and he’s seen a small improvement in his favorability as well from 40/38 to 41/37. That still makes him the Republican hopeful with the worst numbers though. Huckabee leads the way at 62/18, followed by Ryan at 58/17, Paul at 56/17, Bush at 53/21, Rubio at 46/19, and Cruz at 43/29.

Nothing much ever changes on the Democratic side. There Hillary Clinton leads with 66% to 11% for Joe Biden, 5% for Elizabeth Warren, 3% each for Cory Booker and Andrew Cuomo, 2% for Martin O’Malley, 1% each for Kirsten Gillibrand and Brian Schweitzer, and less than 1% for Mark Warner. Clinton has an 84/12 favorability rating with Democratic primary voters, and polls at 58% or higher with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, Hispanics, African Americans, younger voters, and senior citizens alike.

If Clinton doesn’t run, Biden leads with 37% to 12% for Warren, and 10% for Cuomo. And if Clinton and Biden both don’t run, Cuomo and Warren are tied at 19% with Booker at 12%.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.