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Iowa Democrats want Clinton as 2016 presidential nominee

Published: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 11:01 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Iowa Democrats want to see Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee in 2016 while the Republican race continues to be wide open, according to a Public Policy Polling poll released today.

Two-thirds of Iowa Democrats said they want the former first lady and secretary of state to be the party’s standard bearer in 2016, according to the poll of primary voters.

Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second choice at 12 percent, followed by 5 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 3 percent for Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, 2 percent for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and 1 percent for New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Clinton’s dominance is near total. She has an 82 to 9 percent favorability rating and polls over 60 percent with liberals, moderates, men, women, young voters, and older voters alike.

On the Republican side of the contest, the picture is not as clear. 2008 Iowa precinct caucus winner Mike Huckabee has a slight lead over Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 17 percent to 14 percent. However, that’s within the 5.4 percent margin of error for the GOP portion of the poll.

Filling out the rest of the field are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 13 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 10 percent, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 9 percent, Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin at 7 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 3 percent.

Huckabee’s lead is based on his strength with “very conservative” voters, among whom he gets 28 percent to 18 percent for Cruz and 12 percent for Paul.

Huckabee is one of three Republicans who had a favorability rating over 60 percent with Iowa GOP voters. He is at 63 percent to 19 percent. Ryan is at 63-13 and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a 61-21 percent favorability rating.

Paul – 59-15 — and Bush – 50-17 — are the other two candidates who are seen positively by a majority of Iowa Republican primary voters.

The poll found Christie’s favorability has dropped a net 15 points from July and is now only narrowly positive at 38 percent to 35 percent. His support for the nomination has dropped from 16 percent to 10 percent. Rubio’s favorability ratings dropped from 54-14 last summer to 42-14 this month. His support for the nomination has dipped from 11 percent to 3 percent.

Only Cruz’s favorability has notably improved since the summer. He was at 27-12 then. Now it’s up to 40-14.

Donald Trump has indicated he may float a trial balloon in 2016, but he’s not popular with Republican voters at this point. Only 23 percent in Iowa see him favorably to 44 percent with a negative view.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is visiting Iowa this week, has a better net favorability — +28 percent at 45-17 – than he did in PPP’s final 2012 pre-caucus poll when he was a +13 at 52-39. Rick Santorum, who squeaked out a win in the 2012 Iowa precinct caucuses, has seen his numbers go the other way – from 60-30 then to 44- 21 percent now.

In the event Clinton doesn’t run, Democratic voters’ preferences are: Biden, 40 percent; Warren, 13 percent; Cuomo, 8; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 5; Booker, Warner and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 2; former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, 1 percent.

If neither Clinton nor Biden run, the race is up in the air with 47 percent of Iowa Democrats undecided, Warren at 21 percent, Cuoma at 11, Booker at 8, O’Malley at 6, Gillibrand at 3, and Schweitzer and Warner at 2 percent.

Clinton leads hypothetical general election match-ups in Iowa by similar margins to Barack Obama’s 2012 victory. She’s up on Bush 45 to 41 percent, Huckabee 46 to 42 percent, 5 on Paul, and 6 on Christie.

Her average lead of 5 points against the trio of Bush, Paul, and Christie is down from an average lead of 11 points against them in PPP’s July poll.

“That’s a similar decline to what we saw for Bruce Braley in the Senate race as the political climate has worsened for Democrats in the last half of a year,” PPP Director Tom Jensen said.

PPP contacted 869 Iowa voters, including 335 Democratic and 283 Republican primary voters from Feb. 20-23. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percent for the Democratic part and 5.4 percent for the GOP segment. Eighty percent were contacted by phone and 20 percent by Internet.

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©2014 The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Visit The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) at thegazette.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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