February 3, 2015 - Clinton Leads In Pennsylvania, Ohio; Ties Bush In Florida, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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  • FLORIDA: Clinton 44 - Bush 43
  • OHIO: Clinton 47 - Bush 36
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton 50 - Christie 39
A first look at three critical swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, for the 2016 presidential election is good news for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who tops possible Republican contenders in every matchup, except Florida, where she ties former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio, where she ties Gov. John Kasich, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Overall, Gov. Bush runs best of any Republican listed against Clinton, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.

Clinton's favorability rating tops 50 percent in each state, while Republican ratings range from negative to mixed to slightly positive, except for Bush in Florida and Kasich in Ohio.

Of three "Native Son" candidates, measured against Clinton only in their home states, only Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives the Democrat a good run, getting 43 percent to her 44 percent.

Matchups between Clinton and her closest Republican opponent in each state show:
  • Florida: Clinton at 44 percent to Bush's 43 percent;
  • Ohio: Clinton over Bush 47 - 36 percent;
  • Pennsylvania: Clinton tops New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie 50 - 39 percent.
"There is a reason why Hillary Clinton has followed a slower, less aggressive schedule when it comes to ramping up her expected presidential campaign than have virtually all of her potential White House opponents," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"She holds double-digit leads over all her potential GOP opponents in the three biggest swing states, except for two Native Sons, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And she is under little pressure from within her own party to hit the campaign trail," Brown added.

"Although history suggests that once she becomes a full-fledge candidate and part of the nastiness that comes with politics these days those numbers may drop some. She begins the campaign in very strong shape with voters and not just Democrats. In the three big swing states she is getting 86 to 93 percent of Democrats, 36 to 54 percent of independent voters and even up to 15 percent of Republicans. Because Mrs. Clinton would be the first woman major party presidential nominee, she probably gets an extra boost among women, who tend Democratic."

Women are the key to the Democrat's dominance over Republican contenders. She leads among women by margins of 9 to 31 percentage points. Men are more evenly divided. Clinton's biggest deficits with men are 8 percentage points against Bush in Florida and 9 points against Kasich in Ohio.

Florida

While Clinton is locked in a veritable tie with Bush, she tops other Republican contenders by comfortable margins:
  • 51 - 33 percent over Christie;
  • 50 - 38 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
  • 51 - 34 percent over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;
  • 49 - 39 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Native Son.
In the Clinton-Bush matchup, women back the Democrat 50 - 41 percent, while men go Republican 45 - 37 percent.

Against other Republicans, Clinton's margins among women range from 18 percentage points to 25 points.

She gets a 53 - 39 percent favorability rating from Florida voters, compared to Bush's 46 - 38 percent favorability. Scores for other Republicans are:
  • Negative 28 - 41 percent for Christie;
  • 30 - 25 percent for Paul;
  • 31 - 31 percent for Huckabee;
  • 36 - 36 percent for Rubio.
"Not surprisingly, Mrs. Clinton's worst state among the three is Florida. In the trial heat against the Sunshine State's former governor, Jeb Bush, she and he are statistically tied. Another Native Son., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, trails 49 - 39 percent," Brown said.

Ohio

While Clinton ties Gov. Kasich in Ohio, she dominates the possible Republican field:
  • 47 - 36 percent over Bush;
  • 47 - 34 percent over Christie;
  • 48 - 36 percent over Paul;
  • 49 - 34 percent over Huckabee.
The Democrat's margins among women range from 11 percentage points to 24 percentage points. Men are more evenly divided with margins of 6 points for Clinton to 9 points for her opponent.

In the Clinton-Kasich matchup, women go with the Democrat 49 - 38 percent, while men stay with the Native Son 48 - 39 percent.

Ohio voters give Clinton a 51 - 40 percent favorability. Scores among Republicans are:
  • Negative 26 - 37 percent for Bush;
  • Negative 25 - 36 percent for Christie;
  • Split 27 - 25 percent for Paul;
  • Split 28 - 30 percent for Huckabee.
"Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in a statistical dead heat with Mrs. Clinton among the home folks, who re-elected him by roughly 2-1 last November," Brown said. "But the 2014 election in Ohio was the aberration in a state that has been THE one to watch. No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying the Buckeye State. Kasich scored his big victory by cutting into the traditional Democratic edge in a number of areas - women, blue-collar workers and taking a big share of the independent vote."

Pennsylvania

Gov. Christopher Christie from neighboring New Jersey does best against Clinton in Pennsylvania, but still trails 50 - 39 percent. She is at or over the magic 50 percent mark against other Republicans:
  • 50 - 35 percent over Bush;
  • 53 - 34 percent over Paul;
  • 54 - 34 percent over Huckabee;
  • 54 - 34 percent over former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, the Native Son.
Pennsylvania women are out in force for Clinton, giving her a 57 - 34 percent margin over Christie. Men go 45 percent for Christie and 42 percent for Clinton. Women give Clinton margins of 23 percentage points to 31 points in matchups with other Republicans.

Clinton gets her best favorability rating, 55 - 38 percent in Pennsylvania. Ratings for the Republicans are:
  • Negative 36 - 43 percent for Christie;
  • Negative 30 - 38 percent for Bush;
  • A split 29 - 30 percent for Paul;
  • A split 31 - 30 percent for Huckabee;
  • Negative 33 - 42 percent for Santorum.
"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie fares better than other potential GOP candidates against Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, but despite his 'neighbor' status he is nowhere close to challenging a candidate who is riding a tsunami of support from women," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"While would-be Republican presidential candidates, even Native Son Rick Santorum, absorb less than stellar favorability numbers, Clinton has the closest thing to rock star ratings a politician can get in America today. Pennsylvania, which just elected a Democratic governor, is shaping up early in the campaign season as the bluest of the Swing States."

From January 22 - February 1 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 936 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent;
  • 943 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent;
  • 881 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

3. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Chris Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              51%    47%    50%
Christie             33     34     39
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      6      6      4
DK/NA                 7     10      4
 
 
4. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Jeb Bush the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              44%    47%    50%
Bush                 43     36     35
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      2      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      6      6      5
DK/NA                 5      9      7
 
 
5. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Rand Paul the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              50%    48%    53%
Paul                 38     36     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      4
DK/NA                 6     10      7
 
 
6. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Mike Huckabee the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              51%    49%    54%
Huckabee             34     34     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      5      5
DK/NA                 7      8      6
 
 
7. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              50%    49%    53%
Romney               37     37     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      4      5
DK/NA                 6      7      4
 
 
8a. (FL only) If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Marco Rubio the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton              49%     -      - 
Rubio                39      -      - 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      - 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      - 
DK/NA                 6      -      - 
 
 
8b. (OH only) If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and John Kasich the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton               -     44%     - 
Kasich                -     43      - 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      3      - 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      3      - 
DK/NA                 -      7      - 
 
 
8c. (PA only) If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and Rick Santorum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Clinton               -      -     54%
Santorum              -      -     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      4
DK/NA                 -      -      5
 
 
9. Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            53%    51%    55%
Unfavorable          39     40     38
Hvn't hrd enough      6      6      5
REFUSED               2      3      1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of Chris Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            28%    25%    36%
Unfavorable          41     36     43
Hvn't hrd enough     29     37     18
REFUSED               2      2      2
 
 
11. Is your opinion of Jeb Bush favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            46%    26%    30%
Unfavorable          38     37     38
Hvn't hrd enough     13     37     31
REFUSED               3      1      1
 
 
12. Is your opinion of Rand Paul favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            30%    27%    29%
Unfavorable          25     25     30
Hvn't hrd enough     43     46     39
REFUSED               2      1      2
 
 
13. Is your opinion of Mike Huckabee favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            31%    28%    31%
Unfavorable          31     30     30
Hvn't hrd enough     37     41     37
REFUSED               2      1      2
 
 
14. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            40%    37%    39%
Unfavorable          46     48     50
Hvn't hrd enough     12     12     10
REFUSED               3      2      2
 
 
15a. (FL only) Is your opinion of Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            36%     -      -
Unfavorable          36      -      -
Hvn't hrd enough     27      -      -
REFUSED               1      -      -
 
 
15b. (OH only) Is your opinion of John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     43%     -
Unfavorable           -     29      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     27      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
15c. (PA only) Is your opinion of Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     33%
Unfavorable           -      -     42
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     24
REFUSED               -      -      1
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Pennsylvania: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail