Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains extremely popular in Pennsylvania, the state where she defeated Barack Obama by ten points in 2008 and one critical to her potential candidacy in 2016.
According to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University, Clinton enjoys a 56% favorability rating with PA voters, higher than any other national or state figure polled in June. This is also the highest rating Quinnipiac has ever measured for her in Pa., going back to the start of her previous presidential campaign in 2007.
She enjoys an expectedly high 89% favorable rating among Democrats but also holds a healthy 55% favorable rating among independents.
The one troubling sign for Clinton, however, is the gender gap in her polling numbers. Among women she has a stellar 64% rating while there is an exact 47% to 47% split between men who are favorable or unfavorable towards her.
“Hillary Clinton hasn’t uttered a whisper about running for president, but Pennsylvanians are giving her full-throated support,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The pollster surveyed 1,032 registered voters via live interviews on land lines and cell phones from May 30 to June 4. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.
Polls of registered voters in Pa., as opposed to likely voters, tend to boost Democratic candidates because the party has a voter registration advantage. But with the election 3 and a half years away, narrowing the poll to likely voters would be impossible.
Quinnipiac tested four candidates in hypothetical 2016 presidential contests: Democrats Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, and Republicans former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Clinton led Santorum 53% to 36% in their matchup, with Clinton holding a whopping twenty-nine point lead among women (59% to 30%) and even a five-point victory with men (46% to 41%). She also has a huge 51% to 28% margin over Santorum with independents and even bested the noted Catholic Santorum among self-identified members of his own faith (49% to 41%).
Clinton also defeated Sen. Paul 52% to 37% in a hypothetical match-up with a seven point lead among independents and a gigantic thirty-two point advantage among women. The only silver lining for the Kentucky Senator is that he held a narrow lead among men (46% to 43%).
Perhaps even more significantly, Clinton’s leads over these two Republicans were significantly higher those enjoyed by Vice President Biden. The Scranton born VP beat Santorum by only seven (46% to 39%) and Sen. Paul by just four (45% to 41%).
Quinnipiac’s poll didn’t not have a hypothetical Democratic primary match-up between Clinton and Biden. However, Biden’s favorability figure, 49%, was much lower than Clinton’s. Additionally, Clinton’s numbers were also higher than Biden’s among Democrats, independents, women, and even men.
Although some of the more prominent potential 2016 Republicans, including NJ Gov. Chris Christie, were not included in the poll, one fact remains clear; it looks like it will be very difficult to best Hillary Clinton in the Keystone state should she choose to run in 2016.
President Obama’s job approval rating is split, 48% approve and 48% disapprove.