Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSenior House Republicans fighting for their lives GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks Government workers shun Trump, give big money to Clinton MORE is leading several top GOP candidates in hypothetical general election match-ups, but she narrowly trails Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioGOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks The Trail 2016: An important lesson in geography Clinton takes aim at Rubio in Florida rally MORE (R-Fla.), a new national poll finds.
A new Public Policy Polling survey found that Clinton bests Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenior House Republicans fighting for their lives GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks Government workers shun Trump, give big money to Clinton MORE, 46 percent to 43 percent; beats former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 44 percent to 39 percent; and defeats Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: An important lesson in geography Webb: The race to 270 Potential Cruz challenger: 'Don't close off your options' MORE (R-Texas), 45 percent to 43 percent. Clinton ties retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 45 percent.
“Our polling — both nationally and in swing states — is pointing to a close general election for President next year,” Dean Debnam, president of the liberal leaning Public Policy Polling, said in a release.
“A lot of Democrats assume that if the Republicans nominate Cruz or Trump it will be an easy victory but they should be careful about overconfidence — Hillary Clinton finds herself in a tight race even against that pair.”
If Trump decides to break his pledge to remain with the GOP and launches a third party run, the real estate mogul complicates the path to victory even more for Republicans. The poll shows that Trump receives 24 percent if he runs as an independent, boosting Clinton past Rubio, 41 percent to 27 percent.
Trump also gets 23 percent in a three-candidate match-up with Clinton and Cruz, with the former secretary of State now leading the Texas senator, 42 percent to 26 percent.
The poll was conducted from Dec. 16 to 17 and surveyed 1,267 registered voters via phones and Internet. The margin of error was 2.8 percentage points.