Clinton Over 50 Percent Versus Bush, Christie, Paul, Ryan, Rubio & Cruz

Hillary Clinton holds large leads against six potential Republican presidential candidates, according to a new national survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. The poll was taken prior to the June 10 release of “Hard Choices,” Clinton’s new book, and the media attention surrounding its release.

  • Clinton would defeat former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 53-35 percent (18 points)
  • Clinton defeats New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 52-34 percent (18 points)
  • Clinton defeats U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, 55-34 percent (21 points)
  • Clinton defeats U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 54-33 percent (21 points)
  • Clinton defeats U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, 53-31 percent (22 points)
  • Clinton defeats U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, 54-30 percent (24 points)

“At this stage, Hillary Clinton appears to be untouchable. She owes her strong position (52-55 percent of likely voters) to being much more visible than her Republican challengers nationally. Still, we are over two years away from the election,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University. “None of the Republican candidates does appreciably better against her than any of the others, so no one can make a convincing case that nominating him, and only him, makes a difference at this point,” stated Orlando. In a head-to-head comparison, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is the closest candidate with 35 percent of likely voters.

Clinton faces little resistance within the Democratic Party, should she seek her party’s nomination in 2016. Presented with a list of 13 potential Democratic candidates to choose from, 61 percent of likely voter Democrats picked Clinton as their top choice for nominee. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant second, cited by 8 percent of Democrats.

Clinton’s national favorability rating among all voters is 56 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable, for a net of +18. Among Democrats, Clinton’s favorability/unfavorability is 88/9 (+79)
“Right now, Hillary Clinton would dispatch all other Democratic candidates, and Democrats appear to be not even looking for an alternative to her,” Orlando continued. “It’s not clear whether Joe Biden, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Montana Governor Brien Schweitzer, or another Democrat will be able to generate much interest, should they start to campaign more actively,” he concluded.

The field for the Republican nomination has no clear frontrunner. When participants were asked to pick their top choice for their party’s nomination from a list of 16 potential Republican candidates, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush topped the field with 16 percent. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (11 percent) is the only other candidate with double-digit support. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (8 percent), Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (6 percent), former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (6 percent), and Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon (6 percent) also register with Republican voters.

Bush also has the highest favorable/unfavorable rating among Republican voters, at 69/17 (+52). Ryan (+44) and Paul (+41) are next. Christie’s favorability rating among Republicans (54/32, +22) has not recovered from the “Bridgegate” controversy. Ted Cruz’s net favorability rating among Republicans, while strong at 51/19 (+32), is down 18 points since Saint Leo University’s March quarterly poll.

To view poll results click here.

About the Saint Leo University Polling Institute/Methodology

This Saint Leo University national poll of 1,016 people was conducted between May 28 and June 4, 2014. The margin of error is approximately 3 percent +/- with a 95 percent confidence level. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducts its surveys using cutting-edge online methodology, which is rapidly transforming the field of survey research. Sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups. Online methodology has the additional advantages of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute develops the questionnaires, administers the surveys, and conducts analysis of the results. Panel participants typically receive a token incentive – usually 50 cents deposited into an iTunes or Amazon account – for their participation.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Over its 125-year history, Saint Leo has provided access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Today the university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from all 50 states and more than 60 nations. Saint Leo’s 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.

Media Contacts: Kim Payne, staff writer and media coordinator, at or (352) 588-7233/(717) 798-1508 or Jo-Ann Johnston, academic communications manager, at or (352) 588-8237.