A new Quinnipiac poll has gotten some attention for its finding that New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie would tie Democrat Hillary Clinton, 41-41, in a general election matchup in the swing state of Iowa. But what has received less notice is the poll’s finding that both Christie and Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker would trounce the Democrats’ backup hopeful, Vice President Joe Biden, in a head-to-head race.
Quinnipiac found that Christie would top Biden by a commanding 49-32 margin. Christie would win among Republicans, independents, men, women, people with college degrees, people without college degrees, Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals, non-evangelicals, young, old, rich, and poor.
The poll found that Walker, less well-known nationally than Christie, but a next-door governor for Iowans, would also beat Biden, although by a less-decisive 42-39 margin. Walker would come out ahead among Republicans, independents, men, people without college degrees, Protestants, evangelicals, people who make over $50,000 a year, and people over 30. Biden would prevail among Democrats, women, Catholics, non-evangelicals, people with college degrees, people who make less than $50,000 per year, and voters 18-29.
More than anything else, the poll highlights how weak Democrats could be in 2016 if Clinton does not run. For a recent article on what might happen in a non-Hillary scenario, I talked to Democratic strategists who agreed that Biden would run and expressed the opinion that he would probably be the party’s strongest candidate. But if Biden is the nominee, this poll suggests, Democrats could be in serious trouble.
Iowa is, after all, a swing state that went strongly for Obama in 2008 (54-45) and in 2012 (52-46). The nation’s first-voting state has been pretty blue in the last two presidential elections, but nominating Joe Biden might turn it red.