At this stage, Hillary Clinton appears to be untouchable, said Frank Orlando, a political science instructor at St. Leo University. She owes her strong position (52 percent to 55 percent of likely voters) to being much more visible than her Republican challengers nationally. Still, we are over two years away from the election. None of the Republican candidates does appreciably better against her than any of the others, so no one can make a convincing case that nominating him, and only him, makes a difference at this point."
Bush leads on the Republican side with 16 percent followed by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., with 11 percent. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stands in third with 8 percent. Three candidates -- U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., and Dr. Ben Carson -- are tied in fourth with 6 percent. Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, follows with 5 percent while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., garners 4 percent. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., take 3 percent each. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., and U.S. Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, are knotted up with 2 percent apiece. Three candidates -- Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., former Ambassador John Bolton and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio -- lag with 1 percent each.
On the Democratic side, Clinton holds a commanding lead with 61 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 8 percent. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., takes third with 5 percent followed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., with 4 percent. Three candidates -- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., and Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo. -- are tied with 2 percent each. Gov. Martin OMalley, D-Md., U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., take 1 percent apiece. Three Democrats -- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Gov. Brien Schweitzer, D-Mont., and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt. -- take less than 1 percent.
Right now, Hillary Clinton would dispatch all other Democratic candidates, and Democrats appear to be not even looking for an alternative to her, Orlando said. Its not clear whether Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley, former Montana Gov. Brien Schweitzer, or another Democrat will be able to generate much interest, should they start to campaign more actively.
Clinton leads the various Republicans in the poll. She beats Bush and Christie by 18 percent, Paul and Ryan by 21 percent, Rubio by 22 percent and Cruz by 24 percent.
The poll of 1,016 voters across the nation was taken from May 28-June 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.