The latest on the presidential horse race.

Iowa 2016: Paul Tied With Hillary, Christie Leads

Quinnipiac, 12/10-12/15

  • Clinton: 45, Paul: 44
  • Clinton: 40, Christie: 45
  • Clinton: 47, Bush: 40
  • Clinton: 48, Cruz: 41

A new Quinnipiac poll has found that Kentucky Governor Rand Paul has pulled into a virtual tie with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the critical swing state of Iowa. Clinton had led Paul in Iowa by as much as 11 percent in previous polls, a sign of her wavering support as well as Paul’s increasing legitimacy as a candidate. The poll also found that Hillary trails New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by 5 percent and is the second consecutive poll to show a significant Christie lead.

The poll, conducted between December 10 and December 15, sampling 1,617 registered Iowa voters, found that the Hawkeye State is split down the middle between Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul as the former First Lady maintained a narrow 45-44 lead, well within the margin of error. A Harper poll taken back in November showed Clinton with a much more significant 47-41 percent lead.

The news only got worse for the former New York Senator as Chris Christie maintained his lead in the hypothetical 2016 matchup by a margin of 45-40. In November, Christie led Hillary by a similar 43-38 margin.

On the other hand, Clinton would have no problem defeating Texas Senator Ted Cruz or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in Iowa if either won their party’s nomination. Hillary leads Cruz by a solid 48-41 margin, about the same as the 47-40 lead she had over the Tea Party favorite in November. Hillary also leads Bush by 7 percent, 47-40.

Although Iowa is commonly known as a conservative state, they elected Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in all four of their elections. They even went for Michael Dukakis in 1988 against George H.W. Bush. On the other hand, they voted for George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan in all four of their elections.

The state also holds the first caucuses in the nation and often sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. Among the Republicans who participated in the poll, 61 percent said Chris Christie would make a good president, 66 percent said Rand Paul would make a good president, 55 percent said Ted Cruz would make a good president, and 67 percent said that Jeb Bush would make a good president. That would seem to indicate that Paul and Bush are the frontrunners for the GOP Iowa caucus.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)