Dr. Ben Carson has a commanding lead over Hillary Clinton should they face off in the general election, a new poll indicates.
The poll was released Wednesday morning by Quinnipiac University, and pits five different Republican candidates against Clinton head to head to see how they’d fare. Most of the results are favorable to Republicans, but close. Ted Cruz leads Clinton 46 percent to 43 percent, Marco Rubio leads her 46-41, and Chris Christie leads 46-41. Donald Trump trails 46-43.
Carson, though, is way up on Clinton, Quinnipiac, with a major 50-40 lead that is well outside the statistical margin of error.
Carson did even better against Bernie Sanders, beating him 51-39.
The numbers are another indicator of Carson’s potential strength in a general election. Another poll released late Wednesday by NBC/The Wall Street Journal was more down on Republicans’ chances, but still found Carson and Clinton tied.
Of course, to face off against Clinton or Sanders, Carson first has to win the Republican nomination, and that race remains tight. Quinnipiac found that Trump is still on top of the Republican primary field with 24 percent support, but Carson is right behind him at 23 percent. Behind them are Rubio at 14 percent, Cruz at 13 percent, and Jeb Bush at 4 percent.
Carson’s advantage over Clinton in the poll appears to be built on radically different voter perceptions of their personal character. Clinton was rated as the least honest candidate in the race, with only 36 percent of voters saying she is honest and trustworthy. Carson, on the other hand, was top in that category, with 62 percent of voters considering him honest and trustworthy. Voters also give Carson a 12-point lead over Clinton on the question of whether the candidates “care about the needs and problems of people like you.” Carson was the only candidate to have a majority of voters say he shared their values.
Overall, 49 percent of voters rate Carson favorably and just 25 rate him unfavorably, a staggering +24 net favorability that is very rare among well-known national politicians. Only 42 percent of voters view Clinton favorably, with an overall net favorability of -10.
Quinnipiac’s survey polled 1,144 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
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