About 80 percent of the Colorado electorate are prepared to express a choice for president, and they are nearly equally divided between the Republican field and Hillary Clinton. In an early April Quinnipiac poll, Colorado voters placed Rand Paul as the top Republican challenger and Jeb Bush as the weakest in a field of seven candidates.
The following table shows the Republican candidates’ total support vs. Clinton’s placed in “( )” and the Republican support in each of the variables listed in a head-to-head with Clinton.
Paul beat Clinton in the survey (44% to 41%) by capturing a larger percentage of Republicans (87%), two-fifths of the declared independents and the top percentage of men (50%) compared to in the field, similarly losing the least number of women to Clinton (38%) against the field.
A Clinton advantage against Paul and most of the Republican field is her hold on about 90 percent of Democrats. One exception is with Bush where she gets her lowest percentage (85%) and he picks up the largest share of Democrats (6%) among the Republican field. Bush tends to frighten Democrats less, but underperforms with Republicans. The gender gap is present, with Paul having a 15-point advantage with men but losing women by 7 points, the least in the field giving him an 8-point positive gap (the best among his fellow Republicans).
Bush vs. Clinton
A major reason for Bush’s last place position, along with him only receiving 81 percent of Republicans, was his gender gap numbers. Worse than losing women by 8 points was only winning men by 4 points, the lowest percentage in the field and 9 points below Paul, giving Bush a 4 point net gender deficit.
Among independent voters in this sample, the Republican field won them against Clinton by 5 points (Paul – 5, Christie – 4, Huckabee – 5, Walker – 7, Rubio – 3, Cruz – 5, Bush – 1). Bush’s losing independents by a point was another reason for the weak position in the field.