Multiple Candidates Have a Path to the Presidency; Hillary Is Not One of Them [Updated]

Today’s Quinnipiac poll contains more bad news–very bad news–for Hillary Clinton, if not necessarily for the Democrats. The poll asks basic favorable/unfavorable questions about all of the presidential candidates on both sides, with some additional questions about who won the Republican debate, whether candidates are trustworthy, and so on. There are also a series of matchup questions. A few basic points emerge.

First, it is early in the process and the jury is out on most of the candidates. Thus, Republicans like Ben Carson (48% fav, 16% unfav, 35% don’t know), Carly Fiorina (39% fav, 21% unfav, 40% don’t know), John Kasich (27/15/57) and Marco Rubio (38/28/33) are generally well regarded and have big groups of voters to whom they still can appeal. The same is true on the Democratic side, to what may be a surprising extent. Joe Biden (50/34/14) and Bernie Sanders (35/28/36) are both perfectly viable at this early stage of the race. Other candidates like Chris Christie (36/42/21) and Bobby Jindal (21/27/52) don’t stand quite as well, but could still turn around a lot of undecided voters.

The candidate who, based on these numbers, simply doesn’t have a path to the presidency is Hillary Clinton. On favorability, she comes in at 41/55/2. That last number is the key: 98% of respondents have their minds made up. This grim result is amplified by the poll’s findings on trustworthiness. Asked, would you say that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, or not? 32% say yes, while an extraordinary 63% say no. Only 5% are undecided. The other candidates of both parties are generally judged honest and trustworthy: Biden (62/27/11), Carson (63/12/25), Sanders (47/24/28), Bush (55/36/9). Trust, once lost, is hard to regain. It is difficult to see how Hillary can reverse voters’ perceptions when 98% have their minds made up about her, and more than 60% think she is dishonest.

The other candidate who stands out as an anomaly is Donald Trump. His net favorability score is even worse than Hillary’s at 36/57/5. And, like Mrs. Clinton, Trump is a figure about whom just about everyone has formed an opinion. On honesty and trustworthiness, too, Trump is an outlier. 35% consider him honest and trustworthy, while 57% say he is not, and 8% have no opinion. Trump has not been a fixture on the political scene for decades like Hillary Clinton, so maybe he has more room to change voters’ perceptions. But based on this Quinnipiac data, it appears that the candidates with the worst chances of winning the presidential race are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

UPDATE: This post was merely an analysis of poll numbers. There is, too, the matter of her awful record. Click to enlarge: