Early polling, for lack of a better description, is almost always – well, wrong. Nevertheless, it is interesting to look at some of the early developments to track initial reactions to candidates in battleground states.
Keeping in mind that one poll is far from valid research, and considering Quinnipiac’s miserable inaccuracy in 2012, it is clear that Senator Paul R-KY runs stronger in Iowa than Senator Rubio R-FL.
At this point at least, we can make a few (5) assumptions regarding Iowa’s sentiment toward current events, and how that may have an effect on the 2016 presidential race, that I am fairly comfortable to make at this time.
- Joe Biden is inconsequential, and all GOP candidates run ahead of the Vice-President
- Iowa is very unhappy with President Obama over the recent scandals – approval is 45%
- Senator Paul appeals to independents in greater numbers than Marco Rubio
- Senator Paul has the potential to neuter the Dems typical advantage with young voters
- Iowans, in total, are unfamiliar with the GOP Senators
The independents are where Rand Paul is making up ground (+6), and where Rubio is losing ground (-5) when matched up with Hillary Rodham – I lied about Benghazi Clinton. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said:
The major difference between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden is that she runs much better among independent voters, although Sen. Rand Paul runs better among that key group than either Democrat.
Mr. Brown may want to discuss Biden, but unless Hillary is disqualified during the Democratic primary, the nomination is her’s to lose. Which, of course, brings me to my next point – Benghazi. Right or wrong, Americans are not paying as much attention to Benghazi and Hillary’s blatant lies as the GOP would like them to be; that is the sad truth. Perhaps, when the “What Difference Does It Make?” ad runs it will have a greater effect during a campaign, but that is impossible to tell at this time.
The next point, and this cannot be understated, is that Senator Rand Paul can wipe away the typical advantage that Democrats have enjoyed with younger voters. In the head-to-head matchup with Hillary Clinton, Rand outperforms Clinton 46% – 42%. In fact, if the demographics and turnout were the same as they were in 2012, Rand Paul would have defeated Hillary Clinton in Iowa. The current slight lead by Hillary is because Paul runs behind the average GOP presidential candidate with seniors.
Among seniors, Clinton leads 48% – 38%, but Quinnipiac grossly missed Romney’s performance among seniors in the last election.
The last point, and this is always the caution, is that the polling is early and Iowans are simply not familiar with either GOP candidate despite Paul’s visit to Iowa recently.
Quinnipiac has also surveyed the Generic Congressional ballot, which validates the conclusion I have made from the Rasmussen surveys. It is a tie at 38%, but the general ideological argument is shifting toward the GOP in light of the IRS, Benghazi, and media scandals.
We shall see if that holds.