Pollster: 'Republican brand is essentially in the TOILET these days' and more Americans will prefer Democrats in 2016

  • Democratic presidential candidates are favored by 43 to 35 per cent
  • 61 per cent of Republicans chose socially conservative candidates
  • Chris Christie, widely considered electable, attracted only 14 per cent
  • Republicans have no clear favorite as Hillary Clinton topped them all

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

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In a new Quinnipiac University poll, Florida Senator Marco Rubio leads a tightly clustered field of Republican presidential hopefuls among registered GOP voters. But Republicans are clearly at a point of limited popular support.

The muddled field doesn't suggest a successful race in 2016 for Republicans, said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

'The Republicans are more disliked than Democrats,' Brown said. 'The Republican brand is essentially in the toilet these days.'

'The only place the Republicans do better than the Democrats is on the budget deficit.'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had greater support than any Republican in the field, in a Quinnipiac University poll

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had greater support than any Republican in the field, in a Quinnipiac University poll. Clinton is seen as the presumptive favorite to win the Democrats' presidential nomination in 2016

US Republican Senator from Florida Marco Rubio topped the GOP field in the Quinnipiac poll, which included more than 700 Registered Republicans
Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan was the second-highest rated Republican presidential hopeful in a Quinnipiac poll released April 3

US Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio (L) topped the GOP field in the Quinnipiac poll, which included more than 700 Registered Republicans. Wisconsin congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) was close behind

Senator Rubio was favored by 19 per cent of Republican respondents in the March 7 poll.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had 14 per cent support, slightly less than Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's 15 percent.

Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who served as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, came in second place with 17 per cent, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush rounded out the top five with 10 per cent.

Other hopefuls mentioned as possible GOP candidates, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

 

'Three years before the nominating process, the Republicans have no clear favorite,' Brown said.

'What Quinnipiac found is there is no front-runner. Unlike in other years, when one candidate started out with a clear lead over other contenders, that's clearly not the case.'

But Republicans 'appear to have a deeper bench this time' compared to the 2008 race, he added, conceding that the analysis 'sounds a lot like scouting a baseball team.'

Combined, conservatives Rubio, Ryan, Paul and Bush attracted the support of 61 percent of Republicans, suggesting a tough road ahead for Christie, who is seen in most circles as a moderate.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while thought to be among the most electable Republicans likely to enter the 2016 presidential race, trailed other candidates in the poll

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while thought to be among the most electable Republicans likely to enter the 2016 presidential race, trailed other candidates in the poll. Christie caught flak for appearing with President Barack Obama in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign, as the president directed hurricane relief fnds to the Garden State

Christie famously embraced President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, drawing criticism from Republican leaders because it happened in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign.

'It's clearly a conservative party,' Brown noted. 'The problem is that they have to have a message that appeals to people who don't think they [themselves] are conservative.'

Democrats scored better than Republicans on issues including health care, same-sex marriage and immigration.

But financial issues rate highest among the concerns of Americans in both parties, with 40 per cent listing the economy and jobs as the most important issue, another 20 per cent naming the federal budget deficit, and 8 per cent choosing taxes.

'Money will probably be a pretty big deal in 2016,' said Brown.

Health care and gun issues, favorite topics among liberal Democrats, registered less concern, with 20 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was an also-ran in the Quinnipiac poll, but the poll was taken a week before he galvanized conservatives' support with a lengthy filibuster
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush attracted 10 percent of Republicans' support. The conservative politician would be the third Bush family member to live in the White House

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (L) was an also-ran in the Quinnipiac poll with 15 per cent support, but the poll was taken a week before he galvanized conservatives' support with a lengthy filibuster over the question of whether the Obama administration could legally kill American citizens with drone strikes if they were considered terrorists. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) attracted 10 per cent of Republicans' support. The conservative politician would be the third Bush family member to live in the White House if he were elected

Overall, Democrats have a 38 per cent approval rating, with 44 per cent disapproving. But Republicans fare even worse, with 51 per cent disapproving and only 28 per cent favoring them.

The hyper-conservative tea party fared worst of all, with just 24 per cent approval.

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and Secretary of State, enjoys greater public support than Rubio, but the Florida senator tops Vice President Joe Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The poll also found 59 percent of Republicans would rather see a state governor - not a sitting senator - as their nominee.

Ryan's status as the most recent vice presidential candidate won't help him, Brown said. 'History tells us being the running-mate on a losing ticket does not help one's presidential chances.

'Among the last six vice presidential nominees on losing tickets, none of them got to be their party's presidential nominee.'

Peter Brown with the Quinnipiac Polling Institute said that the Republican brand is 'in the toilet'
Quinnipiac University

Peter Brown with the Quinnipiac Polling Institute said that the Republican brand is 'in the toilet.' His poll found President Obama had a 50 per cent approval rating, and the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had greater support than any of the GOP front-runners. Quinnipiac University's polling arm regularly publishes presidential survey numbers, and often provides the first look at races that are far in the future

The last three on the Republican side were former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former New York Rep. Jack Kemp and former Vice President Dan Quayle, with former North  arolina Sen. John Edwards, former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen holding that distinction on the Democratic side.

None of them wound up winning their party's nomination for president after being the vice presidential nominee.

Brown said that in the 1980s, the Democrats were in a similar situation to what faces Republicans today. 'Their brand wasn't very good, there was a lot of internal strife,' but they recovered eventually with a surging Congressional field and Bill Clinton as president during the 1990s.

President Barack Obama scored a 50 per cent job approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll, which is up slightly from previous polling. His rating reached a high of 53 per cent in December, following his re-election victory, but dipped into the mid-40s by mid-January.

Fifty per cent is 'certainly quite healthy for an incumbent starting his second term,' Brown said.

The Quinnipiac poll sampled 1,711 registered voters overall, with a margin of error of 2.4percentage points. The sample included 712 Republicans, with a 3.7 percentage-point margin of error in that group.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2016: REPUBLICANS FACE TROUBLES

•    No single GOP presidential hopeful captured 20 per cent of Republicans' support

•    Marco Rubio won 19 per cent, followed by Paul Ryan's 17 per cent and Rand Paul's 15 per cent

•    Chris Christie, thought to be the GOP's golden boy, took fourth place with 14 per cent

•    Silver lining: Republicans' only strong issue is on the economic issues voters say are most important

•    59 per cent of Republicans said they would rather the 2016 nominee be a governor, not a senator

•    President Obama has a 50 per cent approval rating, down just three points since his post-election high

•    43 per cent of registered voters said they would vote for a Democrat for Congress

•    Just 35 per cent chose a generic Republican congressional candidate

•    Democrats in Congress rated 34 per cent approval, compared with 19 per cent for congressional Republicans

•    69 per cent of voters said they were 'very dissatisfied' or 'somewhat dissatisfied' with the direction of the country

•    52 per cent said they had a negative image of the Republican Party, compared to 43 per cent who said the same about the Democratic Party

Source: Quinnnipiac University Polling Institute

The comments below have not been moderated.

On a head to head basis the poll also showed Biden as well as Hillary beating all GOP contendors with the exception of Christie, although Hillary beat Christie too!

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Bush's first 7 years included deficit spending on two unfunded wars, and contrary to all common sense CUT taxes when the nation was at war, now Obama is picking up the pieces from 8 years of uncontrolled spending. One thing Bush got right was when he said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time and those are the ones you should concentrate on", low information GOP voters aren't hard to fool. - Grasshopper Farmer , Sandburrville, 04/4/2013 18:10.....Yes he did cut taxes and revenue went up, as it does almost every time. Barry raised taxes and what happen to revenue? Went down. Funny that the left has learned Alinsky's Rules for Radicals so well, accuse the other side of what you are doing, or in this case what your side is. So we get, GOP voters are 'low information' when anyone could walk into any inner city in the US and find the very definition of the left's base displaying such a grasp of current events and intelligence.

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That is because most Democrats are on Government handouts. - Carrie , Valley, 04/4/2013 12:42...Why do people keep believing this nonsense. There are 32 states that take more federal money than they receive. 27 of them are Republican. If you don't want federal handouts then all Republican governors and Republican controlled statehouses have to do is say NO THANKS. Otherwise they shouldn't keep lecturing the rest of us and mooching off the democratic states which are the business power houses of the country.

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They are not democrat or republican they are activists politicians who only care about their own pockets. Fire them all, create term limits and hire people who know how to not spend more than what they take in.

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Bush's last year included TARP, which was supposed to be a one time item, instead Barry made it baseline spending. In addition, when the banks paid that money back it was treated as revenue by Barry so his deficit spending was even worse than it appeared. You can fool your simplton side but not those that pay attention.- Robert , Atlanta ------------------------------------------------------------- Bush's first 7 years included deficit spending on two unfunded wars, and contrary to all common sense CUT taxes when the nation was at war, now Obama is picking up the pieces from 8 years of uncontrolled spending. One thing Bush got right was when he said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time and those are the ones you should concentrate on", low information GOP voters aren't hard to fool.

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I always use real numbers not stats, which is why Republicans don't like it, it disproves the fables they like to circulate. The biggest deficit under Bush was a little over $1.4 trillion in his final fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, when he increased federal spending by 17.9%. In his first fiscal year Obama cut spending by 0.8% from Bush's $3.517 trillion to $3.456 trillion. Deficit spending in Obama's first year was a little under $1.3 trillion. Total spending under Bush was $22.69 trillion, Obama will have spent at year end a scheduled $14.43 trillion. - Grasshopper Farmer , Sandburrville, 04/4/2013 15:30....Bush's last year included TARP, which was supposed to be a one time item, instead Barry made it baseline spending. In addition, when the banks paid that money back it was treated as revenue by Barry so his deficit spending was even worse than it appeared. You can fool your simplton side but not those that pay attention.

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I think her comment of "Who cares, its over with" about the death of our Ambassador and refusal of this administration to send nearby help will come back to haunt her. Unless that 52% of voters who elected this dog and pony show are still on government handouts. Years ago, being on the dole was considered only for down and outers in desperate need. Now "government dependent" is a vaibale career choice.

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Yeah the Republican "brand" is in the toilet and for good reason. There are no REAL Conservatives in the Republican party! Democrats will never vote for a Republican so forget them, and who the Hell cares about these mythical Independents. If you are so wishy-washy that you can't decide between the philosophy of Liberalism and Conservatism then you probably just arent paying attention or are brain dead. Real Conservatives like myself are just out in the woods with no one in the GOP to look up to. The closest we can get is the Libertarian Rand Paul and even he leaves something to be desired. Rubio still as many liberal characteristics and as for Jeb Bush! Are you kidding me!? Another Neo-Con Bush!! Lord help us.

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Quit watching MSM & actually go TALK to a true conservative... I don't need/want the gov to babysit me and i don't want to pay for them to babysit u either. Phase out SS & let me manage my own retirement. Everyone needs help occasionally but it shouldn't be a lifestyle! I don't want the gov to tell me how to live my life &, since I'm not a hypocrite, they don't need to tell you how to live your's either. I don't care who u marry, just let me live the way i want and u can to! (That means you don't sue the baker down the street when he doesn't want to make ur wedding cake). Abortion is abhorrent but since it's ur life, I'll let u decide. That's between u & ur god. BUT my taxes shouldn't support it IN ANY WAY. If you can't afford one, I guess you shouldn't have gotten pregnant. AND as a former teen mom who NEVER took a dime of gov assistance & I'm now in Obama's "rich", I have every right to expect self-reliance from others. I know from experience, it's hard but not impossible!

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The biggest deficit GWB had was $400BN!!! Use Real numbers not stats!!! Obama will has created more debt than all of the privor Presidents combined!!- B Chan , GA USA, -------------------------------------------------------- I always use real numbers not stats, which is why Republicans don't like it, it disproves the fables they like to circulate. The biggest deficit under Bush was a little over $1.4 trillion in his final fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, when he increased federal spending by 17.9%. In his first fiscal year Obama cut spending by 0.8% from Bush's $3.517 trillion to $3.456 trillion. Deficit spending in Obama's first year was a little under $1.3 trillion. Total spending under Bush was $22.69 trillion, Obama will have spent at year end a scheduled $14.43 trillion.

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