The assumption that Hillary Clinton is an overwhelming favorite in the 2016 presidential race is belied by the result of the latest poll from the Democratic Public Policy Polling firm. The poll does show Clinton far out in front of anyone else in Democratic primary pairings. But in general election pairings, PPP shows Clinton with statistically insignificant leads over Republicans Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, and a statistically significant lead over Rand Paul. Clinton gets between 43% and 47% of the vote, below the 50% magic number in each case, with the Republicans between 39% (Paul) and 44% (Ryan).
Many Democratic and some Republican analysts have argued that Democrats’ huge margins among non-whites mean that Republicans cannot win a general election. But Clinton does not come close to matching Barack Obama’s 2012 93%-6% margin among blacks and 71%-27% among Hispanics. The five Republicans receive between 13% (Rubio) and 19% (Christie) of the votes from blacks and between 25% (Ryan) and 34% (Bush) among Hispanics.
These PPP results are slightly less favorable for Clinton than recent nationwide surveys by McClatchy and Quinnipiac. PPP also tested Joe Biden against the five Republicans, with Biden narrowly trailing Bush, Christie and Paul and tied with Rubio and Ryan.
What they suggest to me is that both parties are likely to be competitive in 2016, with Democrats enjoying nothing like the advantage they had in 2008.