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Quinnipiac has just released a series of polls which pit potential party nominees against each other. According to their findings, Clinton gets beaten by every potential Republican nominee except Trump, whom she edges by only one point:

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Sanders, on the other hand, defeats every single Republican candidate, and beats them handily (with the exception of Kasich, who is by far the most ‘moderate’ of the Republican field). Carson wasn’t included for reasons that shouldn’t have to be explained.

However, the polling Quinnipiac released on February 5, four days before the New Hampshire primary, the story was a little bit different:

  • Clinton tops Trump 46 – 41 percent;
  • Clinton ties Cruz 45 – 45 percent;
  • Clinton trails Rubio 48 – 41 percent;
  • Sanders thumps Trump 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders edges Cruz 46 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders and Rubio are tied 43 – 43 percent.

Going back a bit further, Quinnipiac released their polling for the Iowa caucus on the same day it occurred, predicting that Trump would top Cruz 31-24 with Rubio in third at 17. They also reported Sanders at 49 over Clinton’s 46. If you account for the ascribed margin of error, their polls get it pretty close a lot of the time.

So it’s not surprising that, according the poll released today, a possible Bloomberg entrance hurts Sanders:

  • Sanders and Trump tied 38 – 38 percent, with 12 percent for Bloomberg;
  • Sanders tops Cruz 39 – 33 percent, with 14 percent for Bloomberg.

Although they didn’t run through every possible scenario (they didn’t, for instance, see what a three-way run between Clinton, Trump, and Bloomberg would look like, nor did they try a three-way run where Trump runs third party should the nomination go to someone like Rubio), the information we have to work with reveals some interesting points about the power dynamics in the race.

Clinton doesn’t fare too well with independents, losing the independent vote to all competitors except Trump (whom she tops 42-40), though none of the margins are outlandish with the exception of Kasich, who beats her 49-23. Rubio, too, beats Clinton by 10 (46-36).

But when Sanders enters, the independent vote swings favorably in his direction, with the closest competition in that area being Rubio and Kasich (each of whom Sanders still defeats by 10 points). So it doesn’t seem like Trump is attracting all too many independent voters, Sanders is—and, to a lesser extent, Kasich.

As for a Bloomberg run, he steals a moderate amount of independent votes, though he steals more votes from Cruz and Trump than he does Sanders with regards to those in the parties. And sure, the Bloomberg thing is a hypothetical right now, and who knows what opinions of him might be if people actually got to know him.

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