June 24, 2015 — The Quinnipiac University swing state polls attracted a great deal of media attention after their release Wednesday. With Hillary Clinton trailing three different Republicans in a trio of critical swing states, many believe this justifies the sinking feeling many Democrats are experiencing about her electoral chances.
Unlike many of the recent public polls that have captured major media attention, the Q-Poll sample sizes in the three states: 1,231 registered voters in Colorado; 1,236 in Iowa; and 1,209 in Virginia, are strong. The racial demographic segments largely appear sound though the sample is low for Hispanics in both Virginia and Colorado. While Donald Trump has been projected leading national ballot tests in other surveys, Quinnipiac does not include him in their isolated one-on-ones.
Though these polls do appear to have a slight – probably, two to three point – Republican skew, the results continue to reveal some fundamental weakness in Ms. Clinton’s candidacy. These surveys, and others like them, point to two critical areas that consistently cut against her viability as a national candidate.
The data’s deeper meaning suggests a difficult road not only for Ms. Clinton in some of the most traditionally volatile political states, but also for the other Democratic contenders, as well.
Clinton would lose to ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. This is the media headline grabber, but the other point of significance over and above Clinton is that the other two Democrats tested, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden, also lose to the GOP trio in every instance. It is this latter fact that may give some credence to certain liberal analysts’ argument that these particular Q-Polls skew Republican.
Irrespective of the ballot test results, it remains clear that Clinton continues to have serious image problems relating to honesty and whether she cares about the average person’s needs. In all three crucial swing states, as well as in national surveys, the former Secretary of State and First Lady fares far worse than any other candidate within these two value-based realms.
On the question as to whether or not the respondents believe Clinton is “honest and trustworthy”, her best numbers come in Virginia where 39 percent believe she is and 55% do not. Her worst performance is in Colorado, where the ratio is a horrendous 34:62 percent. No other candidates tested on this question (Biden, Sanders, Bush, Rubio, Walker) scores negatively in any of the three states.
Whether or not Clinton cares about the needs of average people is still a problem area for her, but the numbers do improve slightly. Though she is in upside down territory in all three states, her best showing, again in Virginia, yields a 45:50 percent ratio. Once more, she fares worst in Colorado where 39 percent of the respondents believe she cares and 57 percent do not. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate to record negative scores on this question in all three of the surveyed swing states.
The ballot test competition produces comparable results in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia directly segmented across party lines. Democratic candidates Clinton, Biden, and Sanders lose to Republicans Bush, Rubio, and Walker in every configuration, everywhere.
The low Democratic score is 35 percent in Colorado (Bernie Sanders), while the party’s high water mark is only 41 percent (Clinton and Biden in Virginia). Conversely, the Republican low is equivalent to the Democratic high (41 percent: Bush in Colorado). The GOP pinnacle is Marco Rubio’s 49 percent, also in Colorado.
Within the three states, the Democratic range for their trio of candidates spans from 35-41 percent, while the Republican team notches 41-49 percent. While Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia are important swing states, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada will play at least an equal role, if not greater ones, in the national picture. Second tier swing states are most probably New Mexico and Wisconsin. Republicans will want to venture into Michigan and possibly Pennsylvania. Democrats may attempt expansion into Arizona.