The really early 2016 line: Hillary, Biden look strong over potential GOP field

 

McClatchy Newspapers

The 2016 presidential election is far off, but an early sign indicates that Republicans could face trouble if Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The survey matched Clinton, the former secretary of state, and Vice President Biden against four potential Republican challengers. The Democrats easily beat Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, thought to be a long shot for the party’s presidential nomination, Clinton barely won and Biden barely lost.

The results provide fresh evidence that Republicans are still reeling from the 2012 election. The party thought it had a good chance to win the White House, but nominee Mitt Romney lost decisively to President Barack Obama. Republicans also lost seats in both houses of Congress.

“We’re seeing the aftermath of 2012 still casting a cloud on 2016,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the nationwide March 25-27 survey.

Clinton, who Miringoff said benefited from her stint at the State Department, was particularly strong in the poll, rolling up margins of 52-40 over Rubio, 52-41 over Paul and 54-38 over Bush. Biden topped Rubio, 53-39; Paul, 50-41 and Bush, 49-41.

Clinton and Biden both sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Clinton came close and retains a sizable base of support, while Biden struggled and dropped out quickly.

Rubio, Paul and Bush have been prominent recently, appearing in political and media forums touting their views. Rubio and Paul are favorites of the party’s more conservative wing, and Paul is thought to have inherited a following from supporters of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for the White House last year.

Rubio and Paul, both first-term senators, have tried to broaden their appeal with calls for overhauling the nation’s immigration system.

Bush, who twice won election as Florida’s governor, had urged such change but shifted his view recently on the issue of whether to offer illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. He now argues that it could encourage more illegal immigration.

Christie, who faces re-election this year, has been on the presidential sidelines. He’s regarded with suspicion by that ultra-conservative wing – particularly since his praise of Obama last year for his help in aiding victims of Superstorm Sandy.

The poll suggests Christie would give Biden or Clinton a tougher race. Clinton has only a 46 percent to 43 percent lead, while Biden trails the New Jersey governor 46 percent to 43 percent. Christie is far ahead of Biden among independents, with a 47 percent to 35 percent edge, and loses that bloc to Clinton by only a 43 percent to 40 percent margin.

Email:dlightman@mcclatchydc.com;Twitter:@lightmandavid

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Former state Sen. Steve Russell, left, candidate for the Republican nomination to a congressional seat in central Oklahoma, gestures during his victory speech at his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. His wife Cindy is pictured behind him. Russell defeated Corporation Commission member Patrice Douglas for the GOP nomination and will meet McAffrey, who defeated retired professor Tom Guild in the Democratic runoff, and three independent candidates in the Nov. 4 general election.

    Florida, Arizona pick nominees for governor

    Voters cast ballots Tuesday in primary elections in Florida, Arizona, Vermont and Oklahoma. Highlights:

  • Journalist killing highlights role of freelancers

    Journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Theo Curtis all shared one thing in common when they were captured by Islamic militants in Syria, the title "freelance journalist."

  •  
State treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey speaks to supporters as he claims victory on winning the Republican primary for Arizona governor Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Phoenix.  Ducey defeated the other Republican candidates and will face Democrat Fred DuVal, who was unopposed in the primary, in November.

    Crist makes Florida comeback bid as 4 states vote

    If there were any doubts that former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist would be accepted by Florida Democrats, they were cast aside as he overwhelmingly earned the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott on a day when four states chose candidates for statewide office.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category