Although no bids for the 2016 presidential election have been made official yet, former Secretary of State, New York Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton has proven to be a top contender against the most probable Republican candidates.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday found Clinton virtually tied with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, currently the most popular Republican, for hypothetical votes in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. Clinton also tops New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his home state.
Not only does Clinton have relatively strong support in these states, according to the poll she also has a higher favorability rating than all the Republicans in question—Paul and Christie, along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. It’s worth noting that Clinton also has a higher unfavorability rating than any of the Republicans besides Christie.
Though both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have familial ties to previous presidents, their name recognition affects them in very different ways.
“Jeb Bush has a family problem. Many voters don’t like him coming from a family of presidents,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “If voters are still saying by 4-1 margins this makes them less likely to vote for him when the balloting begins, that will be trouble for him. Few voters, however, say they are put off by [Hillary Clinton] being the wife of former President Bill Clinton.”
This could be because Bill Clinton, despite exiting the White House under the cloud of scandal and impeachment proceedings, still enjoys consistently high polling numbers years after holding any kind of public office. People just seem to like the Clintons, who own a residence in Chappaqua (some sources have even hinted that a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign might be based out of Westchester). Former President George W. Bush, Jeb’s brother, doesn’t share the same kind of popularity, and suffers from higher disapproval ratings than approval—even in recent polls.
The Quinnipiac results echo a Washington Post-ABC News poll from June 2014 in which Clinton received the most support among potential Democratic nominees: She took a whopping 66% of the potential Democratic primary vote while Vice President Joe Biden trailed with 12%.