Marco Rubio tops in GOP presidential pack, best against Hillary Clinton, Q-poll finds


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wins the support of 15 percent of Republican primary voters and runs best against Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released Thursday.

The former secretary of state tops the Democratic field with 60 percent and leads top Republican contenders, except Rubio, in head-to-head matchups, the Quinnipiac University Poll finds.

The Republican primary field shows Rubio with 15 percent, former  Gov. Jeb Bush with 13 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 11 percent. No other candidate tops 9 percent and 14 percent remain undecided.

Bush tops the “no way” list as 17 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support him. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is next with 16 percent who give him a definite thumbs down, with 10 percent for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Clinton owns the Democratic nod with 60 percent, followed by Vice President Joseph Biden with 10 percent and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 8 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has 3 percent and 14 percent are undecided.

Clinton and Biden each get 7 percent on the “no way” list.

“The youngest member of the GOP presidential posse moves to the front of the pack to challenge Hillary Clinton whose position in her own party appears rock solid,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“This is the kind of survey that shoots adrenalin into a campaign. Marco Rubio gets strong enough numbers and favorability ratings to look like a legit threat to Hillary Clinton.”

In a general election matchup, Clinton gets 45 percent of American voters to 43 percent for Rubio. She leads other top Republicans:

  • •45-40 percent over Christie;
  • •46-42 percent over Paul;
  • •47-42 percent over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;
  • •46-39 percent over Bush;
  • •46-41 percent over Walker;
  • •48-41 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

American voters say 54-38 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, a lower score than top Republicans. Voters say 62-34 percent that she has strong leadership qualities, besting Republican men by margins of 10 percentage points or higher.

Voters are divided 47-47 percent on whether she cares about their needs and problems. Paul cares, voters say 43-35 percent, the best score on this point among Republicans.

Voters approve 50-45 percent of the job Clinton did as Secretary of State. They support 53-43 percent a Congressional investigation into her e-mail use, but say 51-44 percent that such an investigation would be politically motivated rather than justified.

American voters give Clinton a split 46-47 percent favorability rating. Rubio’s favorability score is 35-25 percent. Other Republicans get negative or divided scores:

  • •29-42 percent for Christie;
  • •33-33 percent for Paul;
  • •33-33 percent of Huckabee;
  • •30-43 percent for Bush;
  • •24-21 percent for Walker, with 54 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion;
  • •25-30 percent for Cruz.

“Yes she is a leader, but can she be trusted? Mixed reviews for Hillary Clinton on key character traits,” Malloy said.

From April 16-21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,353 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 567 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points and 569 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points


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