Clinton leads all the Republicans in general election match ups in the state, but there's a wide range in the size of her advantages from as little as 1 point all the way up to 11 points. The strongest GOPer for the general election is Marco Rubio, who trails only 46/45. On the complete other side of the spectrum is Jeb Bush, who fares the poorest of the Republicans against Clinton, trailing by 11 at 49/38. In between the Rubio and Bush extremes, Rand Paul comes the closest to Clinton with a 3 point deficit at 46/43. Scott Walker trails by 4 at 45/41. Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee are each down by 5 at 46/41 and 47/42 respectively. Ben Carson lags by 6 at 48/42, Rick Santorum is down 7 points in his home state at 49/42, and Ted Cruz has an 8 point deficit at 49/41.First of all, it seems hard to believe that Hillary Clinton is only ahead of Ben Carson by six points in Pennsylvania. But whatever.
What's more interesting, and possibly concerning, is that Marco Rubio comes very close to beating her in this poll, with Rand Paul not too far behind. This is close to the result of today's national Quinnipiac poll which had the same two guys only trailing Hillary by 4%. What's going on here?
PPP is kind enough to provide some decent crosstabs which provide a little bit of insight, so let's compare Rubio's numbers with those of the known Pennsylvania Republican commodity who's down by seven points: Rick Santorum.
The "very liberal/very conservative" areas are essentially the same. The difference isn't much greater among moderates, as Clinton dominates both with Rubio doing only slightly better. The main difference, right now, seems to be that a decent chunk of the "somewhat liberals" go from Democratic to "not sure" with Rubio in the mix and some of the "somewhat conservatives" go from Republican to "not sure" when Santorum is their only option.
Of course, "right now" is not Election Day...not even remotely close...so reading too much into this is probably unwise. (Oops, I guess I just did?)
A simpler and more encouraging aspect to focus on is Clinton's across-the-board massive lead among ideological moderates in the state. As a comparison, check out these 2012 exit poll numbers for Pennsylvania, which went for Obama by five points.
Obama won Pennsylvania moderates by less than double digits last time, while Hillary is currently ahead by anywhere from 19% to 35%!
Bottom line: If Hillary solidifies her Democratic support (and she will) while retaining a decent amount of her edge among moderates (highly likely) she will win Pennsylvania by at least as much as Obama did last time. Remember, even John Kerry managed to carry the state by about 2.5% while losing the national vote to Bush by roughly the same amount.
As far as the Democratic primary goes:
Hillary Clinton continues to be dominant at 63% to 14% for Bernie Sanders, 6% for Martin O'Malley, and 3% each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. Clinton is polling over 60% with liberals, moderates, women, African Americans, and young voters and over 50% with men, whites, and seniors.Republicans are typically all bunched up in the 6% to 12% range...except Scott Walker, who has rocketed into the lead with a staggering 17%!
PPP also matched up Sanders, O'Malley, Webb and Chafee against Scott Walker...and Wisconsin's loathsome governor is beating them all. Just tellin' it like it is, folks.