Voters prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton over five potential 2016 Republican candidates for president, according to a Bloomberg Politics Poll released Monday. At the same time, the former secretary of state and first lady may be too liberal for general election voters.
Clinton was the most popular political figure mentioned in the poll out of seven potential 2016 candidates with a 52 percent net favorability rating. Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, was second with 45 percent and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney was third at 43 percent. No other possible 2016 contender surpassed 40 percent.
Clinton, who hasn't said she would run for president but is widely expected to mount a bid in 2016, may want U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to be the GOP’s nominee if she runs. The polled showed her having the largest margin against Cruz, 46 percent to 33 percent. She had an eight-point lead over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 45 percent to 37 percent. Clinton had six-point leads over three possible 2016 candidates: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Romney. The Bloomberg poll was conducted Dec. 3-5 and is based on interviews with 1,001 adults.
The respondents also said Clinton was the candidate that shared their values more than the Republicans. Clinton was also found to be a stronger leader, care more about “people like you,” and “having a vision for the future.”
“Her image and reputation with voters has been defined, and in some ways redefined, by her service as secretary of state, where voters saw someone who was a strong leader in representing our country,” Democratic pollster Geoff Garin told Bloomberg. “If she runs, she comes to this election in much better shape than she did in the 2008."
Another survey, however, found Clinton may lean too far to the left for a general election, Republican pollster David Winston told the Washington Examiner. On a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being liberal and 9 being conservative, Clinton scored a 3.6, which positions her just shy of President Barack Obama, who got a 3.37, and to the left of House Democrats. Independent voters involved in the poll put themselves at 5.56, or just right of center.
“Looking at 2016, the ideological spectrum should [be] concerning for Democrats, especially the likely front-runner Hillary Clinton,” Winston said. “The good news for her is voters put her to the right of President Obama. The bad news for her is voters put her significantly to the left of where they put themselves ideologically.”