Iowa Caucuses 2016: Hillary Clinton’s 59-Point Lead, and Other Poll Potpourri

“My lead over you is this big.”

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Public Policy Polling is out with another one of its way-too-early ballot tests for the 2016 primaries. I don’t endorse this, but, whatever—data is data. What do Iowans have to tell us about 2016 and their caucuses?

Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic field by 59 points. In a ballot test against Joe Biden and seven other Democrats, Clinton wins 71 percent of the vote. For some perspective, Sen. Tom Harkin won the 1992 caucuses with 76 percent of the vote, and he’s the senator from Iowa.


I can hear you say it: “Didn’t Clinton lead by a lot in 2005, too?” Not by this much. According to RCP’s index of Iowa polls, Clinton never led the 2008 field by more than 11 points in any legitimate poll. (I don’t count the American Research Group, which badly botched the election—but if you do, Clinton maxed out at +17 points with them.) Clinton’s actually gained ground since November 2012, when she was at 58 percent in this poll, and up only 41 points over Biden.


Rand Paul up, Marco Rubio down. Here I’ll just post what’s happened in this poll since February.

Rand Paul - 18% (+3)
Chris Christie - 16% (+4)
Paul Ryan - 15% (+5)
Jeb Bush - 14% (+0)
Marco Rubio - 11% (-5)
Ted Cruz - 10% (N/A—they polled Huckabee, not him, last time)
Rick Santorum - 6% (N/A)
Bobby Jindal - 2% (-1)
Susana Martinez - 1% (-3)


That’s mostly noise, but when PPP took Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry out of the poll, the vote split between three very different people. Voters generally moved away from Rubio. Ryan and Paul have maintained sort of theoretical support for immigration reform, while opposing the Senate bill—the bill that’s all over Rubio.

Rick Santorum has no deep support. The guy won this state’s nonbinding caucuses in 2012, and already 28 percent of voters have no opinion of him. His favorable rating’s comparable to Bush’s and Paul’s, much lower than Ryan’s. Santorum will surely work Iowa hard again (he’s been delayed from some campaign work for family reasons), but eventually people will realize he succeeded in 2012 because he was the last non-Mormon guy* standing.

Liberals love Elizabeth Warren. In a hypothetical scenario where Clinton and Biden skip the race, Warren leads the Democratic field at 20 percent.

*This post originally referred to Santorum as the “last Protestant standing,” which is probably the least correct thing anyone has ever said about Santorum. Fixed.