The good news for 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is that they are topping the polls for the Democratic and the Republican parties, respectively, in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, polling by Quinnipiac University released Thursday showed. These states are crucial for anyone looking to win the presidency.

The bad news is that in hypothetical general-election contests in those states, someone else is just as popular, if not more so. That someone is Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to even declare that he will enter the 2016 race. Also competitive in mock general-election matchups were former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Politico reported.

In a mock general election in Ohio, for instance, when facing off against each other, Clinton took 41 percent and Bush 39 percent. But when Biden and Bush were pitted against each other, Biden took 42 percent and Bush 39 percent. In a scenario of Clinton versus Trump, Clinton had 43 percent and Trump 38 percent. But Biden fared even better against Trump, taking 48 percent to Trump's 38 percent.




Even among Democratic voters, Biden had better favorability ratings than Clinton in all three states, Politico reported. Clinton also has lower honesty ratings than Trump in those states -- an indication that the question of her trustworthiness could pose a bigger problem with voters than the former U.S. secretary of state's campaign wants to admit. The polls were based on live phone interviews with more than 1,000 registered voters in each of the three states.

Thursday's Quinnipiac polling also corroborated results from a CNN poll, released Wednesday, that Trump could potentially be competitive in a general election. In a general election, he is catching up to Clinton, while support for Trump among Republicans and conservatives has increased since July, CNN reported.

Biden has not ruled out a run for the presidency. The CNN poll found that 53 percent of registered Democrats want him to run, particularly as concerns mount about Clinton's chances in the race. Her campaign still grapples with the ongoing saga of her use of a personal email address during her stint at the State Department, as well as continued questioning about how foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation may have influenced policy decisions when she was the nation's top diplomat. 

Besides, analysts point out, Biden is 72 years old. The 2016 race could be his last chance to run.