Poll: Clinton trails Bush, Rubio, Walker in key states

Ben Brody
Bloomberg News

Hillary Clinton may have a tough race on her hands.

A new Qunnipiac University poll finds the former secretary of state trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in hypothetical head-to-head match ups in crucial the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia.

Clinton trails Rubio by a margin of 3,846 in Colorado, by 3,644 in Iowa, and 4,143 in Virginia, the poll, which was released Wednesday, found. Bush tops Clinton by a margin of 4,136 in Colorado, by 4,236 in Iowa, and 4,239 in Virginia. Against Walker, Clinton trails by 3,847 in Colorado against Walker, 3,745 in Iowa, and 4,043 in Virginia.

The numbers represent a decline for Clinton against the possible GOP opponents. In an April Quinnipiac poll, Clinton bested Bush by a margin of 4,138 in Colorado, by 4,140 in Iowa, and by 4,740 in Virginia. Against Rubio, she trailed by 4,041 in Colorado, led by 4,340 in Iowa, and was ahead by 4,840 in Virginia. Against Walker, she was behind by a margin of 4,142 in Colorado, but led in Iowa by 4,440, and in Virginia by 4,740.

Favorability issues

Underlying Clinton's slip is an erosion in her favorability numbers.

In Iowa, 45 percent of voters viewed her favorably in an April 9 survey from the university, while a similar number, 47 percent, viewed her unfavorably. By July, just 33 percent viewed her favorably, with 56 percent viewing her unfavorably, a deficit of 23 points. Clinton has faced questions, especially over her use of a private email address to conduct government business as the State Department, as well as foreign donations to her family foundation.

“Do Colorado voters trust Hillary? No, they do not," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Tim Malloy in a press release accompanying the results. “So the door is open to a GOP candidate voters can believe in.”

Clinton is not the only candidate with problems in the three states: Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination and polls second to Clinton in most surveys, did not fare much better against the trio of Republicans, nor did Vice President Joe Biden, who is said to be considering a run.

The survey was conducted between July 9 and 20. Quinnipiac contacted cellphones and landlines of approximately 1,200 voters in each state, producing a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.