Swing state polling data released last week showed Hillary Clinton faring worse against top Republicans in hypothetical general election match-ups than Joe Biden. Fox News' fresh national numbers confirm that effect. Though Mrs. Clinton's advantage among Democrats has surged back to a 20-point margin -- leading Bernie Sanders, followed by Joe Biden -- it appears she'd be a weaker nominee than the sitting Vice President. First, Her Majesty's numbers:
And Uncle Joe's:
Clinton trails all four Republicans polled -- by between three and 11 points. Biden, by contrast, handily beats Trump, holds modest edges over Bush, Fiorina and Carson, and is effectively tied with Marco Rubio. Strangely, Fox doesn't appear to have polled a Rubio/Clinton head-to-head. Based on the other results, it would follow that the Florida Senator also enjoys a polling advantage over the former Secretary of State. What's behind Hillary's anemic showing? Weak fundamentals. Many rounds of polling show that she enjoys universal name recognition, but scores poorly on favorability, trustworthiness and empathy. She's also almost unanimously perceived as a 'meh' candidate at best, even by those who populate her political orbit:
Nearly every one of 50 advisers, donors, Democratic operatives and friends we interviewed for this story thought Clinton was a mediocre candidate who would make a good president, if given the chance. They painted a portrait of a politician who talked about learning from past mistakes while methodically repeating them—a far cry from the formidable shatterer of glass ceilings who had put such a scare into Obama late in the 2008 primaries.
That snippet comes from a much-discussed Politico piece making the rounds this week that describes Clinton's entrenched, unending email scandal as a "cancer" growing on her candidacy. The entire episode paints Hillary as myopically self-interested, habitually dishonest and strikingly irresponsible. These liabilities are not easily overcome, especially by someone with an infamous authenticity deficit. And don't take my word for it:
On the Republican side, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are statistically deadlocked atop the field, attracting 47 percent of the GOP electorate combined. Mirroring the latest CBS survey, Ted Cruz has pulled into third place at ten percent, with Rubio and Bush close behind. Notably, Carly Fiorina has slid to five percent support, while John Kasich and Chris Christie are floundering at one percent, tied with Bobby Jindal and George Pataki. Parting thought: Is Lanny Davis right that Joe Biden's standing is likely already at its zenith as an undeclared candidate? Or does he have big upside that could threaten Hillary's grip on her party's crown?