Clinton stomps Ryan by 17 points. Not only that, but she dominates him in nearly every metric. She carries women by 24 pts (57-33%) and men by 9 points, 49-40%. Obama lost "men" to Romney 52-45%. Both Hillary and Ryan are strong with their base. The problem for Ryan, however, is that he's losing big among Independents (53-36%), and his base is outnumbered by Hillary's base by 10 points in this poll. In other words, the Purple Strategies likely voter sample identified as 40% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 29% Independent, or D+10. During the election just 6 weeks ago, voters identified as just 6% more Democratic than Republican. The last Presidential election in which Democrats and Republicans were at near-parity was in 2004, when both parties made up 37% of the electorate.
2016 is ages away, and Purple Strategies actual finding of D+10 is as reliable as any reasonable guess regarding turnout 4 years from now. But as it's the purpose of this blog, let's see how Paul Ryan would do against Hillary Clinton had the Purple Strategies poll found an electorate similar to 2012, all other findings remaining the same:
Purple Strategies poll weighted to 2012 national CNN exit polling:
Paul Ryan's margin against Hillary improves only slightly, from 53-36% w/ the D+10 sample, to 51-37% had the sample reflected 2012 turnout. For curiosity's sake, how would Paul Ryan do in the much more Republican electorate of 2004?
Purple Strategies poll weighted to 2004 national CNN exit polling:
Paul Ryan would pull within double digits of Hillary Clinton in the Purple Strategies poll (49-40%) had they found a 37D/37R/26I electorate, all other things remaining the same.
What does all of this actually say about 2016? Very little. It says that Hillary Clinton is one of the better known and better respected public figures in the country...right NOW. It also suggests that Paul Ryan has a little image repairing to do as the other half of the losing Romney ticket. Though I would suggest that if the electorate stays as Democratic as it was in 2008 and 2012, or even becomes MORE Democratic as this poll suggests, there will be little any Republican can do to overcome those demographics.