Quinnipiac has released a new national head-to-head matchups poll between the Republican field and the two remaining Democrats. Generally speaking, it shows that the frontrunners for the two major parties would actually present the weakest general election matchup for the other side, if the election were held today.
First, the matchups for the Republicans against Hillary indicate that Hillary would start the election in very deep trouble against anyone not named Donald Trump:
- Rubio 48%, Clinton 41%
- Cruz 46%, Clinton 43%
- Bush 44%, Clinton 43%
- Clinton 44%, Trump 43%
The matchups between Bernie and the Republican field show that Bernie would, at least initially, fare better against all the Republicans than Hillary would:
- Sanders 47%, Rubio 41%
- Sanders 49%, Cruz 39%
- Sanders 49%, Bush 39%
- Sanders 48%, Trump 42%
Obviously, Sanders right now is more of an idea than an actual candidate, and there's reason to believe that the harsh glare of the national spotlight would not be kind to him. Right now, he has the benefit of being the alternative to one of the least inspiring and most disliked political figures in a generation - Hillary Clinton. In a race against any reasonable-sounding Republican without all the baggage of Clinton (or Trump), he would likely face obliteration.
That having been said, there's at least a chance he won't. For Hillary, on the other hand, the die is pretty much cast. This election presents the unusual scenario where the Democrats are hoping to God that the Republican front runner keeps momentum, and the Republicans are hoping to God that the Democrat front runner does the same.