Poll: Clinton Now Trails Bush, Rubio, and Walker in Three Key Swing States

The former secretary of state has lost ground since April.

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, waves to supporters as she arrives for a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, July 17, 2015.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton may have a tough race on her hands. 

A new Qunnipiac University poll finds the former secretary of state trailing former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in hypothetical head-to-head match ups in crucial the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia.

Clinton trails Rubio by a margin of 38–46 in Colorado, by 36–44 in Iowa, and 41–43 in Virginia, the poll, which was released Wednesday, found. Bush tops Clinton by a margin of 41—36 in Colorado, by 42—36 in Iowa, and 42—39 in Virginia. Against Walker, Clinton trails by 38–47 in Colorado against Walker, 37–45 in Iowa, and 40–43 in Virginia.  

The numbers represent a decline for Clinton against the possible GOP opponents. In an April Quinnipiac poll, Clinton bested Bush by a margin of 41–38 in Colorado, by 41–40 in Iowa, and by 47–40 in Virginia. Against Rubio, she trailed by 40–41 in Colorado, led by 43–40 in Iowa, and was ahead by 48–40 in Virginia. Against Walker, she was behind by a margin of 41–42 in Colorado, but led in Iowa by 44–40, and in Virginia by 47–40.

Favorability issues

Underlying Clinton's slip is an erosion in her favorability numbers. 

In Iowa, 45 percent of voters viewed her favorably in an April 9 survey from the university, while a similar number, 47 percent, viewed her unfavorably. By July, just 33 percent viewed her favorably, with 56 percent viewing her unfavorably, a deficit of 23 points. Clinton has faced questions, especially over her use of a private email address to conduct government business as the State Department, as well as foreign donations to her family foundation.

“Do Colorado voters trust Hillary? No, they do not," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Tim Malloy in a press release accompanying the results. “So the door is open to a GOP candidate voters can believe in.”

Clinton is not the only candidate with problems in the three states: Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination and polls second to Clinton in most surveys, did not fare much better against the trio of Republicans, nor did Vice President Joe Biden, who is said to be considering a run.

The survey was conducted between July 9 and 20. Quinnipiac contacted cell phones and landlines of approximately 1,200 voters in each state, producing a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.