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Hillary Clinton leads by double digits in new Iowa 2016 poll

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A new poll released by Quinnipiac University yesterday shows Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead against all potential Republicans challengers in the state of Iowa. The poll adds more credence to the belief that Clinton is the candidate to beat in 2016 should she decide to run for the presidency.

The Results and What They Mean

  • Hillary Clinton 49% versus Rand Paul 39%
  • Hillary Clinton 48% versus Chris Christie 35%
  • Hillary Clinton 51% versus Jeb Bush 37%
  • Hillary Clinton 51% versus Ted Cruz 35%

U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) father, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has performed well in Iowa in the two previous presidential elections which may serve to benefit the son in this poll. The Iowa Caucuses will be key to Paul should he decide to run.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a favorite amongst the more conservative voters, but he performs poorly against Clinton in this poll which raises more questions about his electability in a general election.

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) is still recovering from the Bridgegate scandal, and these numbers are actually not bad for him considering the amount of bad press he has garnered recently. Christie may choose to focus more on New Hampshire in the Republican primary should he decide to run.

Former Governor Jeb Bush’s (R-FL) strength will likely come in the South, so these numbers are also a decent showing for him in this Midwestern state.

Electoral College History and Prediction

Iowa last went to Republicans in 2004, when former President George Bush defeated then-Senator John Kerry 50% to 49% in the swing state.

Since then Democrats have won the state twice. President Barack Obama defeated Senator John McCain in 2008 by a ten-point margin (52%-46%) and then defeated Mitt Romney by a six-point margin (52%-46%).

Iowa has six electoral votes. At this time, the state is projected to go for Democrats in 2016, and this most recent poll certainly does not change that prediction.

The Poll Sample

Quinnipiac sampled 1411 registered voters from March 5 to March 10. The registered voter sampling method includes more respondents than the likely voter model, and therefore may serve to benefit Clinton to some degree. The sample size for the poll is fairly large, and Quinnipiac gives a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. According to Quinnipiac, 25 percent of their respondents identified themselves as Republicans, compared to 28 percent who identified as Democrats and 39 percent who identified as independents.

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