Hillary Clinton actually trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and holds only the barest of leads over two likely Republican presidential contenders in a new poll out of Iowa.
The results — still within the margin of error in the new Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll — are the latest to cast shade on the former secretary of state's perceived inevitability for 2016.
Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns for Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land during a rally in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
The poll put Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, over Clinton at 44 percent to 43 percent. Romney’s 2012 running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, trailed Clinton by 1 point at 44 percent to 43 percent. With a slightly wider gap was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 41 percent against Clinton’s 44. The margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.
The poll is a boost for Romney, who has seen renewed talk from some within the Republican Party to get into the 2016 race, despite saying he has no plans to run again. Many conservatives do not want Romney to return, while other political commentators disregard the supposed Romney resurgence entirely.
Iowa is a highly watched Midwest battleground state that has swung from Republican and Democratic over the years, going to George W. Bush in 2004, and for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Iowa hasn’t been kind to either Clinton or Romney: Clinton came in third in the Iowa caucus in 2008, behind Obama and John Edwards. In 2008, Romeny finished second behind Mike Huckabee and a very close second behind Rick Santorum in 2012. Romney lost the state to Obama in 2012.
Other potential 2016 contenders didn't do as well against Clinton in the poll: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie trailed Clinton by 5 points at 38 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush polled at 39 percent in a one-on-one matchup, putting him 7 points behind Clinton. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio trailed Clinton by 8 points, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz trails her by 10.