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Friday, December 9, 2016

It’s been a complex week of polling, with some concerning numbers for Democrats — and for Republicans, too.

The political world was abuzz this week with a Quinnipiac University poll showing Hillary Clinton trailing multiple Republican opponents in three key swing states: Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. Tested against three Republicans — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker — Clinton trailed by narrow or even moderately strong margins in each. (Two other Democrats, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, were also tested against those Republicans — and they both did worse pretty much across the board.)

On the other hand, a Pew Research national survey shows some very promising fundamentals for Democrats versus Republicans. The Democratic Party has a favorable rating of 48 percent, and an unfavorable number of 47 percent — close, but way ahead of the Republican Party at only 32 percent favorable, and 60 percent unfavorable.

In addition, the Democrats have advantages in some key fundamentals, broken down below:

  • Better manages federal government: Democrats 41 percent, Republicans 40 percent.
  • Governs in a more honest and ethical way: Democrats 45 percent, Republicans 29 percent.
  • “Concerned with people like me”: Democrats 53 percent, Republicans 31 percent

Republicans are also way, way ahead — in a bad category, “More extreme in its positions”: Republicans 52 percent, Democrats 35 percent.

In the presidential horse race, the big news that started this week off was the ABC News/Washington Post poll showing Donald Trump with a commanding first place lead of 24 percent of Republican voters, nearly double the second-place showing of Walker at 13 percent, followed by Bush with 12 percent, Rubio at 9 percent, and Mike Huckabee with 7 percent.

On the Democratic side, the ABC/Washington Post survey had Clinton at 62 percent, Sanders and Biden tied at 14 percent each, Jim Webb 2 percent, and Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley with 1 percent each. (Note: Vice President Biden is not currently running for president, but has been included in many polls.)

In addition, a survey from Morning Consult had The Donald in first place among Republicans with 22 percent, then Bush at 15 percent, Walker 12 percent, Ben Carson 8 percent, and Huckabee 7 percent.

Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) has Trump in first place nationally with 19 percent, then Walker at 17 percent, Bush 12 percent, and Carson and Rubio at 10 percent each.

Fun side note: The Donald loves to say that the people who are really eager to attack him are the ones at 0 percent, so that they might get some attention. His new arch-nemesis Senator Lindsey Graham is at… 0 percent. (His other great enemy, former Texas governor Rick Perry, is at 1 percent.)

On the Democratic side, PPP has Clinton with a commanding lead at 57 percent, followed way behind by Sanders at 22 percent, Webb 5 percent, Chafee 3 percent, and O’Malley 2 percent.

PPP also tested a number of general election matchups.

With Clinton as the Democratic nominee:

  • Clinton 46 percent, Bush 41 percent
  • Clinton 47 percent, Carson 39 percent
  • Clinton 46 percent, Chris Christie 38 percent
  • Clinton 48 percent, Ted Cruz 40 percent
  • Clinton 47 percent, Carly Fiorina 37 percent
  • Clinton 46 percent, Mike Huckabee 40 percent
  • Clinton 45 percent, Rand Paul 42 percent
  • Clinton 46 percent, Rubio 41 percent
  • Clinton 50 percent, Trump 37 percent
  • Clinton 46 percent, Walker 41 percent

There was also a special three-way matchup, in which Trump was put forward as an independent: Clinton 43 percent, Bush 25 percent, Trump 23 percent. Ouch.

With Sanders as the Democratic nominee for a few tested heats, Republicans are performing much better:

  • Bush 44 percent, Sanders 37 percent
  • Rubio 41 percent, Sanders 36 percent
  • Sanders 47 percent, Trump 37 percent
  • Walker 40 percent, Sanders 39 percent

And finally, in a key early state contest, the new Monmouth University poll of Iowa’s Republican caucuses has Walker, the governor of neighboring Wisconsin, with a huge lead at 22 percent, followed by Trump with 13 percent, Carson 8 percent, and Bush and Cruz with 7 percent each.

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event in West Columbia, South Carolina, July 23, 2015. (REUTERS/Chris Keane)

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