Poll finds Carson tops GOP race in Colorado; top Republicans beat Clinton

Nov. 16, 2015: Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson speaks at a news conference. (AP)

Nov. 16, 2015: Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson speaks at a news conference. (AP)

Former neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination among Colorado voters, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday which also finds that he is one of a number of Republicans who would soundly beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the Centennial State in a general election match-up.

In the race for the Republican nomination, the poll finds Carson leads in Colorado with 25 percent of the vote, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 19 percent, business mogul Donald Trump with 17 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 14 percent, Carly Fiorina with 5 percent, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 3 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 2 percent. Eleven percent of respondents were undecided.

Click here to read the poll.

While the poll finds former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the field comfortably for the Democratic nomination -- gaining 55 percent of the vote, compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 27 percent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 2 percent -- she fares poorly in a general election matchup in the vital swing state.

Clinton trails all the top Republicans by margins of 11 percent or more:

The poll finds that Rubio would beat Clinton 52-36 percent; Carson would win 52-38 percent; Cruz would beat Clinton 51-38 percent, while Trump gets 48 percent of the vote against Clinton’s 37 percent.

In more bad news for Clinton, although 56 percent of voters say she has the right kind of experience for the presidency, Clinton has the lowest favorability rating of any top candidate in Colorado -- just 33 percent -- while 67 percent says she is not trustworthy or honest.

The poll was taken between November 11 and 15, and 1,262 Colorado voters were surveyed.

"A chilly if not frigid reception for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her second quest for the White House," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said.

"As winter moves into the Rockies, Coloradans say the Democratic front-runner would get bruised and beaten by all the top GOP opponents, and absolutely crushed by Sen. Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson."