Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York, N.Y.
Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty

Hillary Clinton down in matchups with potential 2016 contenders


Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s favorability is down against other possible 2016 contenders in critical swing states following the recent controversy involving the use of her personal email, but she is performing better than most potential Republican candidates, a new poll revealed.

In Florida, the country’s largest swing state, former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican weighing a presidential bid, leads Clinton 45-42 in a hypothetical 2016 matchup, according to the Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released Tuesday. Another close race was in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had 45% to Clinton’s 44%.

The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania because no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states since 1960. Clinton prevailed over Paul, 46% to 41%, in Ohio.

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Half of voters in Florida, 49% in Pennsylvania, and 47% in Ohio said Clinton is “not honest.” 

For the past month, Clinton has dominated headlines for using her personal email address during her tenure as secretary of state. She has called on the State Department to release 55,000 pages of emails that she had selected to be turned over to the government. The ongoing investigation will determine whether or not Clinton broke rules in using her personal account.

“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that the e-mail controversy has not done huge violence to her presidential chances. But the matter is taking a toll on the former secretary of state’s public image,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll.

Clinton leads other Republicans, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who last week announced his presidential bid. But her leads are down from a previous Quinnipiac poll, which was released on Feb. 3 before the email controversy became public.

The poll surveyed at least 1,000 voters from Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania between March 17 and 28. The margin of error was 3%.

Clinton has not declared she will run for president in the next election. But Tony Clarrk, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid and led rapid response research efforts at the Democratic National Committee, is expected to serve as Clinton’s research director.