According to a new poll out today, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are still the presidential frontrunners in Pennsylvania. On the downside, the poll suggests they might only be truly capable of beating each other.
Today’s survey , furnished by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, is a “swing-state” poll, which looks at the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It shows Mr. Trump with support from 23 percent of Republicans. Fellow outsider Ben Carson trails with 17 percent of the party's backing. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, meanwhile, is the top established candidate in the field: His 12 percent backing edges out businesswoman Cary Fiorina, while easily outpacing the likes of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the rest of the field, none of whom escape mid-single-digit range.
That’s broadly consistent with polling we reported on earlier this week, and it confirms pollsters’ impressions that Mr. Rubio may be the mainline Republican candidate to keep an eye on.
There’s more churn on the Democratic side. Beset by attacks relating to her email habits as a former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has seen her support among Pennsylvania Democrats drop from 45 percent in mid-August to 36 percent today. Vice President Joe Biden, a Scranton native, appears to be scooping up some of that support -- without even entering the race. 25 percent of Democrats say they’d back him, outpacing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ 19 percent backing.
But both parties’ frontrunners also have the highest negatives among voters as a whole. More than half of Pennsylvania voters view Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton unfavorably. 54 percent of voters said Mr. Trump wasn't trustworthy, while 61 percent said the same of Ms. Clinton. When voters were asked whether the top-tier candidates care "about the needs and problems of people like you," Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump were the only candidates who garnered "no" responses from more than half of those surveyed.
Who would win a clash between these titans? In a head-to-head match up, Clinton “leads” Mr. Trump by 44 to 42 percent, though in a poll with a 3-percentage-point margin of error, that’s a statistical tie. But of the top GOP candidates, Mr. Trump is the only one Ms. Clinton leads: Quinnipiac shows her trailing the other top GOP contenders between 3 and 9 percent.
For Republicans, Mr. Carson would appear to be the strongest candidate, beating all three Dems pollsters named.
For Democrats, the best picture would be a Trump/Biden match-up, which Mr. Biden would win by 10 points. Then again, even Bernie Sanders leads Mr. Trump by 5 points, a general-election result that would presumably portend the final victory of socialsim. And maybe the appearance of four horsemen, as well as one-third of the seas turning to bitter wormwood.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,049 Pennsylvania voters, of whom 427 were Republicans and 442 Dems.