Hillary Clinton Leads Jeb Bush By Double Digits In Pennsylvania

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on May 28, 2015 finds Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over Jeb Bush in Pennsylvania. The poll, conducted between May 21st and May 24th, 2015, of 799 registered Pennsylvania voters, showed Hillary Clinton (D) with a dominant 49-38 percent advantage over former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R).

Jeb Bush is viewed favorably by only 24 percent of Pennsylvania voters, compared to 53 percent who have a negative opinion of him. With most Keystone State voters already holding a negative view of Bush, his chances of turning the tide in his favor in Pennsylvania are very slim.

Pennsylvania has not voted for a Republican for president since George H.W. Bush carried the state in 1988. However, the state has been competitive in the last six presidential elections, even though the Democrats have won each contest since their 1988 loss. Democrats carried the state by a single digit margin in each of the last six elections. Barack Obama won Pennsylvania by a narrow 51-47 margin in 2012.

Jeb Bush fares worse than any other Republican polled in the PPP survey, although Clinton leads each GOP candidate in Pennsylvania. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the GOP’s most competitive option in the Keystone State. He trails Clinton  just 46-45. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also appears competitive, trailing Clinton by just three percentage points (46-43).

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz all trail Clinton by margins between four and eight percentage points. Interestingly, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum also performs poorly in his home state, trailing Clinton 49-42.

The PPP poll demonstrates how weak a Jeb Bush candidacy would be for Republicans. Bush is not especially popular with the Republican voting base. In addition,  GOP strategists must also come to grips with the fact that despite his reputation for being a mainstream conservative or a party moderate, Jeb is also wildly unpopular with the general public, including Independent swing state voters. If Jeb Bush becomes the GOP nominee, the Republicans can just about abandon any hopes of carrying Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.

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