Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the favorite to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, beats out two possible Republican presidential candidates in their own back yards, according to a poll released Wednesday morning.
The poll from Quinnipiac University shows Clinton with a solid lead over former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida. Clinton whips Bush 50 percent to 43 percent. She does even better against Rubio, besting him 53 percent to 41 percent.
Clinton and Bush both do well in rounding up members of their party, but the Democrat beats out the former governor with independents, leading that group 48 percent to 42 percent. Men divide evenly between the two candidates, with each claiming 45 percent, but Clinton has a clear edge with women voters. A majority -- 53 percent -- of women back Clinton, while 41 percent prefer Bush.
The poll shows Rubio does worse with Republicans and independents than Bush does when matched against Clinton. While Bush pulls 90 percent of Republicans against Clinton, 85 percent of them support Rubio against the Democrat. Clinton holds a strong lead with independents against Rubio with 55 percent of them supporting her, 36 percent favoring the Republican. Clinton leads both men and women against Rubio in the poll.
The Republicans do better when matched against Vice President Joe Biden. Bush beats out the vice president 47 percent to 43 percent, while Rubio edges Biden 45 percent to 43 percent.
"Vice President Joseph Biden runs weaker than does former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against a number of Republicans in a number of states Quinnipiac tested," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The poll finds Floridians give Bush, Clinton and Rubio high marks but Biden clearly is not as popular in the Sunshine State. A solid majority -- 57 percent -- of
those surveyed see Clinton as favorable, while 38 percent view her as unfavorable. Bush also does well with 54 percent holding favorable views of the former governor and 33 percent seeing him as unfavorable. Rubio is not as well-known, but 44 percent view the senator as favorable and 33 percent see him in an unfavorable light. Biden gets mixed marks with 45 percent seeing him as favorable and 42 percent as unfavorable.
All four possible 2016 presidential contenders are more popular in the Sunshine State than President Barack Obama, who won Florida twice. Obama is upside down in Florida, with 48 percent disapproving of his job performance and 47 percent approving of it. Half of those surveyed -- 50 percent -- say the president is honest and trustworthy; 45 percent think he is not.
The poll of 1,176 registered voters was taken from June 11 through June 16 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 904-521-3722