January 27, 2015

Loras College Poll checked Clinton versus several potential GOP 2016ers

Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices” is being released Tuesday and a poll of likely Iowa Caucus-goers will be released next week as well to see how Clinton might fare in the 2016 presidential race against an array of Republican foes. The poll was conducted this past Wednesday and Thursday, as surveyers sought to discover how Iowa’s 2014 race for governor and the U.S. senate was going.

“One interesting thing to note in this survey is the same very people who were providing support for Joni Ernst or Terry Branstad, former Senator Clinton was out-performing all the Republicans in our caucus polling of that same sample,” says Christopher Budzisz, the political science professor who directs the Loras College Poll. “So it’s going to be an interesting several months to get the shape of this race in Iowa.”

Republicans in congress have raised questions about Clinton’s conduct of foreign policy while she served as secretary of state during President Obama’s first term, especially her handling of security at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed in the fall of 2012. Republican strategist Karl Rove has even questioned Clinton’s physical health. Professor Budzisz says that criticism doesn’t seem to be damaging Clinton’s chances.

“What we find with voters here is that they know Clinton…and they’re not necessarily hostile to her, at least in terms of the early surveys that we’re seeing here,” Budzisz says, “so it’s an interesting dynamic at work and it’ll bear watching.”

The Loras College Poll, by the way, is not automated. They’re using humans to make the calls. About 80 percent of those surveyed are answering a landline and 20 percent are answering their cell phone.

In early April, Suffolk University surveyed 800 Iowa Democrats who’re likely to attend the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. The poll found Clinton had the support of 63 percent of those surveyed. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who had 12 percent support, followed by Vice President Joe Biden, at 10 percent. This past March a Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” found 88 percent of Iowa Democrats think Clinton should run again in 2016.