HRC vs. Jeb!

It’s natural every time a poll comes out showing either Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush losing ground in the presidential contest people tend to lump them into the same category of front-runner-facing-existential-challenge-but-may-survive kind of hedge-betting. And that’s particularly true when a big survey comes out that tests both fields in a key battleground, like this weekend’s Iowa Poll.

But let’s do look at a few numbers side by side.

According to this poll, Hillary Clinton is the favorite of 37% of likely Iowa Caucus-goers (45% if Joe Biden’s not included, as he should not be since he’s given zero public indication that he’s running). Jeb Bush is the favorite of 6% of likely Republican Caucus-goers.

Hillary Clinton’s favorability/unfavorability ratio among Iowa Democrats is 77/19 (pretty much the same as that of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden). Bush’s ratio is 45/50, trailing twelve GOP candidates in this basic measure of popularity. 13% of Democrats say they’d never vote for HRC. 39% of Republicans say they’d never vote for Bush.

In FiveThirtyEight’s point system for endorsements by statewide elected officials, Jeb Bush has 34 points. Hillary Clinton has 320.

No, they are not on the same level right now, much as it’s aesthetically pleasing to put them in the same box. It would not be a surprise if Clinton is the Democratic nominee, even though it’s no longer (if it ever was) “inevitable.” With Jebbie, it’s becoming a bit of a reach.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.