Clinton Leads Potential GOP Contenders in Early 2016 Polling

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govWe're still six months away from this year’s midterm election. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start polling the public about potential presidential candidates for the 2016 race.

A McClatchy-Marist poll released yesterday did just that, and the findings are stark but not surprising: Hillary Clinton has a significant lead over any potential Republican challenger.

The former secretary of state rolled up support from majorities of voters when pitted against eight different Republicans. Though Clinton isn’t saying whether she’ll seek the White House, her supporters have been raising money and promoting her candidacy.

The race for the Republican nomination is a free-for-all, with five possible contenders in a virtual tie. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was virtually deadlocked with Clinton as recently as December, has regained some political strength after stumbling early this year but remains far behind the Democrat.

"Hillary Clinton is jogging around the track by herself as far as the Democratic field is concerned. Republicans are all in the starting blocks," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the poll last week.

Like I said, it’s not too early to start polling the contenders. But it is far too early to make much of the results. Presidential polls as this very early stage have essentially no predictive power regarding the final outcome.

Mostly what this tells us, then, is that with more than two years to go, Hillary Clinton, a former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady who is widely expected to be the eventual Democratic nominee and ran for the Democratic nomination once before, has much better name recognition than any potential GOP rival at this point. Notably, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who served as the GOP's VP nominee in 2012, fares the best against Clinton. 

But it does suggest one looming challenge for Republicans. Clinton may not go totally uncontested, but if she runs for the nomination, she’ll likely win without a whole lot of effort. That gives her a tremendous early advantage: She won’t have to go through any rough primary battles, won't have to spend much money fighting party rivals, have to make a name for herself with the public. Republicans, by contrast, will have to work to win over the party's base, establish themselves with the larger electorate, and avoid the sort of intramural squabbling that could drag everyone down.

The upsides for Republicans are that Hillary Clinton’s reputation is already pretty well established, and that she won't be able to deviate too much from the Obama administration’s policies or priorities. So if it turns out that voters want something different at that point, she’ll have a hard time changing how they view her. 

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  • Mr Whipple||

    Fist

  • John Galt||

    Butthole?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was virtually deadlocked with Clinton as recently as December, has regained some political strength after stumbling early this year...

    Goddamn you, U.S. voter. Goddamn you to hell if this man regains standing.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The bridge scandal happened a year too soon. He'll be back on his corpulent feet in 2015.

  • Christophe||

    Hopefully a lifetime of overeating catches up to him.

  • grrizzly||

    Wasn't Clinton in the very same position 8 years ago? I think it's relevant when we discuss her chances.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There won't be another Barack Obama. That was an anomaly. She will get the nomination and then it will be the GOP's race to lose.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Cory Booker is a pretty damn close imitation.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No doubt, but Obama took the shine off that type, probably for a few more elections to come.

  • Loki||

    Obama took the shine off that type

    What do you mean "that type"? RAAAAAAACIST!!!!111!!!!

  • WTF||

    What do you mean "shine"? RAAAAAAACIST!!!!111!!!!

  • Kevin47||

    What do you mean "Obama"? RAAAAAAACIST!!!1!!1!!

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    What do you mean "RAAAAAAACIST!!!1!!1!!"? RAAAAAAACIST!!!1!!1!!

  • Eric Bana||

    Elizabeth Warren could pack a surprise.

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    She's actually a dude?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Don't worry. The Stupid Party will manage to lose it.

  • Robert||

    There'll always be "another Barack Obama" to beat Clinton. What if, for instance, the voters want a woman?

  • Mr Whipple||

    Missionary?

  • ||

    I think the public likes Theoretical Hillary Clinton much better than Actual Hillary Clinton.
    She hasn't been in front of the camera a lot lately, and it's much easier to like a person when you don't see a lot of them. Thing may be different when they start seeing in campaign ads and in debates.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    She's going to get hit hard by some out-there progressive in the 2016 primaries. I'm hoping it's Bernie Sanders.

    The idea that the GOP is in hopeless disarray while the Democrats are going to line up behind Clinton is just ridiculous. The progressive wing hate the Clintons and think they are Wall Street sellouts.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The progressive wing hate the Clintons and think they are Wall Street sellouts.

    This is very true but the progressive wing is no more than 20% of the party.

  • Hyperion||

    Do you have your Hillary 2016 posters up yet? Or are you hoping that White Squaw comes out of nowhere and beats her out?

  • fish_remote||

    Hillary 2016 Posters.....?

    The ones shreeky hung in moms basement back in 2008 are still up but they are so semen stained that Hill looks like a frosted gingerbread man...err...Gingerbreadperson!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If it is Hil-Dog vs Huckabee I would vote for her.

    If it is Rand Paul I would vote for gridlock like I normally do. Gridlock has been the preference over either party for some time now.

    Rand Paul is less a warmonger than she is so I would prefer him.

  • Lord at War||

    If it is Rand Paul I would vote for gridlock like I normally do

    So, you voted McCain in 2008?

    Yup. I didn't think so.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Their influence is more profound in the primaries because of their activism.

    All Bernie Sanders needs to do is run and make inequality and climate change a major issue and push the field to the left. Then Joe Biden and Brian Schweitzer jump on Clinton cronyism and Wall Street connections. She'll react by playing victim, it'll backfire, and we'll have either a conservative Democrat like Schweitzer or good ol' Uncle Joe as compromise candidates.

  • Hyperion||

    No way. First wiminz prez and Slick Willy as first lady will be too much for the dems to pass on.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sanders isn't a Democrat so that won't happen.

    Schweitzer would kick ass in the general with his bolo tie and farmy pro-energy bonafides but the road to him winning teh Dem primaries is tough.

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    Three palatable posts in a row?

    I'm afraid to keep scrolling.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I'm betting some junior runners like O'Malley will be nipping at her heels.

  • prolefeed||

    I googled it and got 43% of Democrats self-identify as liberals according to Gallup (didn't have a category for "progressive").

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....h-in-2013/

    Got a link for that 20% number?

  • BardMetal||

    "Got a link for that 20% number?"

    Yeah it's www.OutofMyAss.com

    And I really hope that it not the name of an actual website.

  • BardMetal||

    Wow I didn't know it would create a link.

    Just don't click on it, I have no idea what might lurk behind that link, but it's bound to be something horrible.

  • Raven Nation||

    I couldn't resist: it actually just takes you to a domain name sale site.

  • Kevin47||

    The progessive wing is 40% of the party. It is 20% of the voting public.

  • prolefeed||

    That only makes sense if the voting public is 50% Democrats, which it is not.

  • Kevin47||

    The 40% number relies on that. 20% of the public reliably identifies as liberal or progressive.

  • fish_remote||

    The progressive wing hate the Clintons and think they are Wall Street sellouts.

    Far more important than whose a sellout to the Proglodytes is the opportunity to elect another "first"...they'll fall into line like good little lefty army ants!

  • Hyperion||

    Yep, this is why they want Hillary. If she is dead before the primaries, they would probably stuff her like a taxidermy display and prop her up on the stage with on old recording of her former speeches taped onto her. All that matters is FIRST WIMINZ PREZ! If you don't agree, you hate all wininz!

  • Hyperion||

    And I also think a lot of Independent and even GOP women will vote for her, for only that one reason.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I wonder how many black, asian or hispanic women there are in the democratic party who realize how easily they could knock Hillary off just by showing up with one more victim card?

    -jcr

  • Hyperion||

    What about a hispanic transvestite? That's the real ticket!

  • Loki||

    Half black half hispanic transexual who went lesbo after the sex change. Check all the boxes at once!

  • Eric Bana||

    Add physically handicapped to that list.

  • mplspolitics||

    I've said it before and I will say it again, I think Team Blue has shot themselves in the foot with the racism card they played with Obama. Overall, the electorate has grown pretty fucking tired of it and are very well aware that, if Hilary were to be elected, we would be in for another 8 years of any opposition to the POTUS being labelled sexist and misogynist.

    That's not going to fly.

    The only way that she gets elected is if the narcissism of identity politics and "making history" brings out the youth vote like it did for Obama, and I just don't see millenials getting too excited for that.

  • fish_remote||

    Clinton Leads Potential GOP Contenders in Early 2016 Polling

    Oh let this be so! 2016 to 2020 is going to suck.....I can think of no one else I would prefer to be sitting in the chair then Ol Thick Ankles!

  • The Last American Hero||

    If she runs, all Team Stupid needs to do is run Benghazi commercials with her awesome "What difference does it make quote" followed up by pictures of Russian tanks driving through Ukraine juxtaposed with her talking about a "reset" of relations with Russia. Throw in some "truthiness" spots about being shot at by snipers in Bosnia for good measure.

  • ||

    If there's anyone who can get Hillary elected, it's the Republican party.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Yeah, they could hand it to her by nominating the least of the Bushes.

    -jcr

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    And all the Democrats need to do is continue to talk about the WAR ON WOMEN and run against George W. Bush again (which the Repubs might help them do, by nominating his brother) and they'll be just fine.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, there is a WOW, you know. And even the libertarians have joined in. What do you think really happened to Kennedy?

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    That fat old drunk driving killer finally died of a brain tumor, or something.

    Oh wait, you mean the former MTV personality?

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, I'm talking about the Kennedy who Welch and his minions have locked up in an underground factory polishing monocles.

  • Hyperion||

    I mean just look at the transformation of Matthew from last night. That evil grin, it's a dead give away.

    I can just hear him after going to back to the dungeon lair after the show. 'Polish those monocles, Kennedy! Bwaaaahhaaaahaaa, everyone thinks you are on some kind of vacation! They'll never figure out my evil plan! I'll be hosting the Independents, forever! Bwaahahhahaaa! Now, get to work! If you don't make your monocle quota, there'll be no gruel again tonight!'.

  • Loki||

    If they do that they'll be accused of running a "negative campaign." Meanwhille if Christy gets the nom, it'll be nothing but "OMGZ BRIDGEGATE!!!" 24/7, if Paul gets the nom it'll be nothing but "CRA!!!1!! NEOCONFEDERATE!!!!11!!! ZOMG" 24/7, and similar treatment for anyone else they might nominate. They're pretty much fucked no matter who they nominate.

    In 2012 they nominated what should have been the most milquetoast, non-offensive candidate possible and still got the "WAR ON WYMINZ!!!1!! THROW GRANDMA OFF A CLIFF!!!1!!! 'PUT Y'ALL BACK IN CHAINZ'!!!!11!!" bullshit treatment. At this point they could literally nominate a labradoodle puppy and the dems & their media allies would claim it was some kind of ravenous hellhound out to eat your children and leave massive turds all over your lawn.

  • Hyperion||

    The Stupid Party will muster up every bit of their stupid in an effort to make sure they nominate someone who Hitlary can beat.

    Jeb Bush? What needs to be said here, it's too obvious to even speak of.

    Christie? He probably won't win one state outside of NJ.

    Who is left? Oh yeah, that crazy fringe guy that we can't name, he's so wacky and extremist.

  • kinnath||

    that crazy fringe guy that

    Stop othering his hair.

  • James Ard||

    I think it's pretty likely to be Scott Walker, but the GOP establishment is going to try to shove John Kasich down conservative's throats.

  • ||

    I actually think that Rand Paul is the smart choice for the Republican party. He's close enough to the Tea Party to get their enthusiastic support, but he's not really a "Tea Party" conservative.
    He's on much better terms with the establishment than (say) Ted Cruz.
    So he potentially bridges mainstream and Tea Party Republicans.

  • Tim||

    That primary is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

  • Paul.||

    The race for the Republican nomination is a free-for-all, with five possible contenders in a virtual tie. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was virtually deadlocked with Clinton as recently as December,

    Sounds like the smart money would be for Clinton picking Christie as her running mate.

  • ||

    FUUUUUUUUUUUCK

  • Lord Humungus||

    Let us not forget that in 2008, Clinton was the lock. And so was Rudy Giuliani. Neither made it through the primaries.

    Of course Clinton, barring some issue - health? - has a good chance of winning. Given the current state of the republic, I wouldn't put it past "us" (gah). Considering how popular ol' Bill is, especially in hindsight, perhaps the electorate is pining for the 90s.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, to be fair, you can't really compare the coming of Black Jeebus with any other election cycle. Things like that only happen every 2000 years or so.

  • Hyperion||

    And Willy as first lady. Just imagine how excited the brain dead minions will get over that.

  • ||

    He'll appear in drag at a celebrity roast so they cen get the gay vote.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    And in 1990, the only people who had heard of Bill Clinton were a bunch of sweaty people in Atlanta. After the temporary success of the cult of personality, the Democrats are hell-bent on returning to the traditional model of political succession in the tradition of Mondale, Dole, McCain, and Romney. All of whom were more charming and electable characters than Hillary Clinton, who got knocked off by a back-bench, first-term senator who has done his best to make Hoover's economic policies look good in retrospect.

    You'd think that by now both parties would understand the voters follow personality above all else, but they keep making the same mistakes over and over.

  • ||

    It's always a balancing act between the establishment choice with the financial backing and the personality and charisma aspect.

    Hillary Clinton is most definitely the establishment choice.

  • GILMORE||

    I note = 12 months prior to the 2008 Election (Oct-Nov 2007) the Hildebeast was leading in both Democratic primary and overall election polls by a significant magin; the conventional wisdom from all the major media wonks was that this was Her Year by a landslide.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITI.....index.html

    "Expectations are building fast. Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of those polled expect Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. That's four times more than those who expect Obama to be the nominee.

    Of those polled, who do they expect to win the Republican nomination? Half chose Giuliani. That's nearly four to one over John McCain.

    And who do voters expect to win the election? Clinton was chosen by 45 percent. Only 16 percent expect Giuliani to get elected. Nobody else gets more than 10 percent."

    That story collapsed within 3 months, as pundits discovered that blue-collar big-labor democrats hated the fuck out of her. The fact that her campaign apparently treated the press like her personal slave-army apparently didn't help either.

    as Mark Twain = "Reports of her Lasting Political Appeal are Somewhat Premature"

  • Raven Nation||

    I have this recollection that Hillary's presumption also cost her. As the story went, she hadn't really built much of an "on the ground" effort beyond the first few primaries, b/c they thought things would be locked up pretty quickly. When Obama proved to be a genuine contender, her campaign tried to get one in place but couldn't get it done in time.

  • Kevin47||

    I predicted Obama-McCain well before that. Team Red loves establishment candidates. Team Blue does not. That's why it's good that Rand Paul has been getting out there early and often, making his candidacy feel inevitable.

  • SPG_900||

    I Think that nostalgia will be a huge factor in the general election. I hear all that "good old days" crap from country democrats all the time, and how nice another Clinton president would be. Combined with another The first fill in the blank President, things look grim.

  • BardMetal||

    The only thing saving us is that Hilary is about as charming as herpes, and much like herpes it always seems to come back.

  • PapayaSF||

    I look forward to the end of being called a racist for my criticisms of the President, and instead being called a sexist.

  • ||

    There's a lot of hispanic and black men who are going to have a bit a trouble voting for an upper class white woman.

    Hillary will get the liberal white vote and the women vote (somewhat contiguous), and the unions, but she won't be able to hold together Obama's coalition of Blacks, Hispanics, and college hipsters.

  • James Ard||

    Suderman is freaking nuts to believe war monger Hillary has any chance against avowed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. It's Bernie's for the taking. That is, unless Socialist Elizabeth Warren says she wants in, then it's all hers.

  • Rich||

    Hillary 2016:
    What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Sad but true.

  • Tony||

    Expect some ambitious Democrats to resent the notion of being locked out and who think this is their time to make some trouble. It's hard to identify someone who would Obama her at this point except maybe Warren (it would have to be a woman).

  • PaulW||

    Warren would almost be worth it just so Hillary couldn't get the historical recognition as the first president.

    I honestly think the Dems are screwed either way though.

    Especially if there is a strong libertarian candidate. Our youth doesn't like the Democrats much, they just dislike the GOP more because it is cool.

  • PaulW||

    First female president that is.

  • Pro Libertate||

    She has no chance in hell. I'd say 5-to-1 against her even getting the nomination.

  • Robert||

    I think they'll have stopped talking about her as a contender by a year before the election. These things are very volatile this early, as people just talk up any names they remember. It took until far into the primaries in 2008 to knock her off, but now that people know it's that easy, they won't let her get anywhere near that far. So the writing will be on the wall before the primaries start in 2016.

    Find out who Lloyd Braun starts giving money to by the end of this year. That's the smart money.

  • ||

    I look forward to seeing Hillary attempting to display her hip groovy side. Is she going to play the saxaphone on Arsinio Hall? Maybe she can go on Univision and show off her salsa dancing skills.

    Is she sassy like a latina, or can she get down with the sisters?

  • steve baker||

    Stupid, or what?

  • blcartwright||

    I didn't know Hillary was a GOP contender. "Hillary ahead of/leads potential GOP challengers" ?

  • Kevin47||

    I still maintain Hillary is unlikely to be the nominee. Are Dem primary voters excited about her? No. Does she have legitimate health concerns? Yes. Will black voters turn out for an angry old woman? No. Would her nomination basically guarantee unprecedented turnout among evangelicals? You bet.

  • Charles Hurst Author||

    Expect her to win as you GOP continue with your treason.

    You expect us to believe that you are any better than the Democrats? When did you reduce spending? If only we would vote you in again. Never mind we have and you continue the treason. That’s why you took second place for the last two elections.

    Try this GOP. It’s called following the law and doing the right thing. You start massively deporting illegals. And you tell La Raz to get out of your face. Then you cut the spending—as massively as you deport illegals. You reduce benefits. You reduce Medicaid. Because most of those permanently disabled could find a job of some sort. You say that---out loud. Try that. You’d win in a landslide.

    If you’re not going to say that then be prepared to lose the third election. Because a lot of us aren’t useful idiots that think the impact of the car going off the cliff will be less if you’re at the wheel. And we’ll be staying home or voting third party when you put a Jeb or McCain in. You’ll lose again. Because if you are going to continue the corruption then we will collapse anyway. Don’t just trust my fiction—take a look at history. It agrees with me.

    You want our vote. Tell McConnell to put down the rifle, shut his mouth and start voting for America.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

  • steedamike||

    I believe you used the wrong paste.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I said it first, and I'll repeat it here...

    "An electorate stupid enough to elect Obama twice is stupid enough to elect Hillary."

    I warned you...

  • Kevin47||

    Not going to be the same electorate. Evangelicals stayed home in 2012, and black voters did not. The reverse is almost certain to me true of Hillary is the nominee.

    The question is whether the Republican candidate can muster a sufficient majority to get to 270. The cards are stacked heavily in the Dems favor at present.

  • cricket23||

    Hillary at Benghazi hearings when questioned about 4 Americans being murdered.

    What does it matter now.

  • OldOllie||

    If Hillary is elected as our next president, our republic is finished. It's not so much that we cannot survive a Clinton presidency as much as we cannot survive with a majority who would vote for her.

  • Pulseguy||

    Well put. I get Obama the first time. I didn't like him because I could see he was blowing smoke at us, but that was my business experience working. But, the second time? He is obviously a psychopath, and everyone should have seen that by then.

    Hillary? How could anyone not see through her. Although to be honest, I would have preferred Hillary to Obama 8 years ago.

  • Pulseguy||

    Americans tend to vote for the person who appears strongest. Name me a President who was elected when his opponent appeared stronger than him.

    Hillary looks like she is dead on her feet. I think Benghazi took something from her. It was her first decision she made in which people died. Obama, being a psychopath, can make those decisions without losing any sleep over it, but to me it looked as if Hillary was beaten by it.

    I'm not 100% convinced she will run. Her ego says to do it, but I don't think she has the internal power to last a term. I'm 63, I have way, way less energy than I did ten years ago. She's older than I am. And, she doesn't appear physically strong to me. Even Nancy Pelosi appears stronger. If it is a cakewalk to the nomination I doubt she will be able to resist.

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