Republicans want a candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton. A new Fox News poll finds Marco Rubio performs best against the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Rubio has an eight-point edge: 50 percent to Clinton’s 42 percent.
Then again, Clinton -- who commands 55 percent support among Democratic primary voters, easily outpacing Bernie Sanders (32 percent) and Martin O’Malley (3 percent) -- trails all top-tier Republicans in hypothetical 2016 face-offs.
Jeb Bush is ahead of Clinton by six points (45-39 percent). She trails both Ben Carson (47-42 percent) and Donald Trump (46-41 percent) by five. Ted Cruz bests her by four (45-41 percent), while Chris Christie has a three-point edge (46-43 percent).
Carly Fiorina fares the worst against Clinton: they tie at 42 percent. Women go for Clinton over Fiorina by four points, while men back Fiorina by six points.
Trump also tops Sanders by five points (46-41 percent).
Rubio not only commands the widest margin against Clinton, he’s the only one who hits the 50 percent mark. Rubio’s margin comes entirely from men, who go for him over Clinton by 17 points. The two are tied among women voters.
This is the first time Rubio has topped Clinton, although it’s always been close -- she was up by just one point in June (45 Clinton vs. 44 Rubio).
The poll also finds that GOP primary voters are somewhat more likely to prioritize having a nominee who can beat the Democrat (78 percent “very” important) than someone who is serious about shrinking government (71 percent “very” important).
How often do you need to agree with a candidate on major issues before you’ll vote for him/her? Two-thirds of GOP primary voters say they need to be in alignment “all” or “most of the time” (66 percent). For Democratic primary voters, just over half set the bar that high (54 percent).
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,016 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from November 16-19, 2015. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, 5 points for Democratic primary voters and 4.5 points for Republican primary voters. The ballot tests were split sampled, which means each question was only asked of half the sample and those results have a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.