Hillary Clinton may still be leading potential Republican rivals Jeb Bush and Rand Paul in polling for the 2016 presidential election, but a new poll shows her advantage is shrinking considerably.
According to a new Zogby poll taken between June 27 – 29, Clinton leads Bush by 12 points, 47 percent to 35 percent. That’s a seven-point decrease when compared to poll results from early May, when her lead was 49 – 32.
Notably, Clinton’s lead among key demographics is also taking a hit – all while she has spent the last two weeks promoting herself and her new book, “Hard Choices.” Among men, her lead is down from a high of 12 points over the last three Zogby polls to six. Her standing with independents has decreased from 17 points to 10, and from 60 points to 22 among Hispanics.
Writing at Forbes, pollster John Zogby also revealed Clinton has actually lost her lead among the “self-identified investor class” and married voters.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s lead against Paul is now 48-36, down from a 21-point advantage in March and 17 points in May. She beats him among men by just three points, though among women she’s up by 19. Despite the lead, Zogby believes the fact that numbers are coming down against little competition at this point is a cause for concern.
“It is significant that in every case the runaway favorite again polls under 50% and that both Governor Bush and Senator Paul continue to increase their support among key groups,” he wrote for Forbes. “Mrs. Clinton has almost universal name recognition among likely voters and it is unlikely that she could say or do anything to increase her support base.”
“Even more than her dwindling leads over GOP contenders is that while she is pretty much running against herself, in a very high-profile book tour, she is losing ground,” Zogby added, as quoted by the Washington Examiner. “Her biggest problem, I have always felt, is the inevitability factor. It [helped] do her in in 2007-2008 and right now looks to be her major nemesis. She has this whole playing field to herself and is declining in the polls.”
The only other race the poll took the temperature on is Clinton vs. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has been plagued by a scandal involving the closure of car lanes on the George Washington Bridge for political reasons, Clinton’s lead against the Republican has come down from 26 points in March to 15 points now; she leads 48 percent to 33 percent.
Although Clinton has spent much of her time in public recently promoting her new book, she has invited criticism from various corners for claiming she and former president Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House.
With Republicans increasingly treating her like a political opponent instead of a former Cabinet member, “Ms. Clinton’s re-entry on the political stage over the last few weeks is turning her back into what she was before her stint as Secretary of State: an intensely polarizing political figure,” wrote Professor Nyhan at the New York Times.
Still, the book tour may not have been a complete disaster for Clinton. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also released on Monday, 55 percent of Americans believe she can relate to the average citizen.
“Given all the TV spots, front-page stories, and Sunday show discussions focused on Hillary Clinton’s wealth and her recent ‘dead broke’ comment," Chuck Todd wrote at NBC, “these numbers are pretty good for Team Clinton.”