If this news doesn’t have Joe Biden, Al Gore, or Elizabeth Warren seriously considering entering the presidential race — and serious Democrats urging them to do so — then nothing will. According to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll, Hillary Clinton trails Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia.
Two of the three Republicans Clinton trails are neither well known nor in possession of a well known name. Thus, the poll results should be viewed mostly as a referendum on Hillary.
This assessment is confirmed by Clinton’s favorability ratings. In Virginia, they are 41-50. In Colorado, they are 35-56. In Iowa, where Clinton has been a fairly constant presence, they are 33-56 — a tribute to her skill as campaigner.
Clinton runs ahead of these numbers against the three GOP hopefuls, but behind all three. Against Rubio, she trails by 8 points in Colorado and Iowa and 2 in Virginia. Against, Walker she is down 9 points in Colorado, 8 in Iowa, and 3 in Virginia. As for Bush, he of the burdensome family name, Clinton is 5 points down in Colorado, 6 down in Iowa, and 3 down in Virginia.
Clinton is losing ground. In April Quinnipiac, Clinton didn’t trail in of these match-ups against the three Republicans, and she was ahead in five of the nine.
Naturally, Clinton is suffering as a result of the various revelations and scandals of the past several months. According to Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, she has lost ground on the question of her honesty.
In addition, she has lost ground on the question of being a strong leader. It’s difficult to look like a strong leader when you’re unwilling to face the press or answer other than softball questions.
Ominously, perhaps, for Clinton, Quinnipiac’s Brown points out that “Vice President Joseph Biden, who is considering a 2016 run, does better than Clinton on honesty and on caring about voter needs, always a key Democratic strong point.”
Donald Trump fares even worse than Clinton among those polled in the three swing states. But the GOP won’t be saddled with Trump as its nominee. And the poll tends to confirm what common sense tells us — voters aren’t holding Trump against Rubio, Walker, or Bush.
The real Trump problem lies in the possibility that he will run as a third candidate. As poorly as she’s faring, Clinton might well carry the three states polled by Quinnipiac pretty handily in a three-way race involving Trump.