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Two Years Out, Poll Shows Hillary Clinton’s The 2016 Favorite

McClatchy Tribune News Service Politics

Two Years Out, Poll Shows Hillary Clinton’s The 2016 Favorite


By David Lightman, McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton has a comfortable lead among Democrats for the 2016 presidential nomination, while the Republican race remains a free-for-all, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Clinton was the top choice of 64 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. She showed strong appeal among virtually every demographic and political group.

“She’s jogging around the track with no serious competition,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the Sept. 24-29 poll.

A former secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York and first lady, Clinton has been a front-runner before. In 2008 she was doing well at this early stage, but she lost the nomination to Barack Obama, then a Democratic senator from Illinois.

She had shown a hint of vulnerability this summer during her tour to promote her memoir, Hard Choices. Clinton was hurt by her assertion that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001 because of mortgages and daughter Chelsea’s college tuition.

Since then, Clinton has been campaigning for 2014 candidates. Last month she visited Iowa, traditionally the nation’s first presidential caucus state. Clinton got a warm greeting from thousands of people gathered at an Indianola farm, where she said she was thinking about running.

Many at that event said they wanted to hear from other candidates, but the poll shows that no other Democrats have so far caught on. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant second at 15 percent, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has said repeatedly she does not want to be a candidate, at 8 percent.

Three who may be interested in waging campaigns trailed far behind. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who held town meetings in Iowa at the same time Clinton was visiting, polled 4 percent. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recorded 2 percent, and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb was at 1 percent.

Clinton also did well against potential Republican challengers, topping 50 percent in each instance.

She led New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose appeal to moderate voters could make him formidable, by 51 percent to 42 percent, up from 47 percent to 41 percent in August.

Clinton did better against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, winning 53 percent to 42 percent, up from 7 percentage points in August. She tops Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 52 percent to 43 percent, up from 6 points in August. Paul has been aggressively traveling to key presidential states and has been particularly active in Iowa.

Former President George W. Bush, Jeb’s brother, said earlier this week, “I think he wants to be president,” but he does not believe his brother’s made a decision.

Jeb Bush led the Republican field, but there was no discernible trend for or against anyone. Bush got 15 percent backing, followed by Paul and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, both at 13 percent. Christie was at 12 percent.

A long list of potentially strong candidates trailed: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 7 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 6 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, tied at 4 percent; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 3 percent each.

Twenty-one percent were undecided.

“That’s the most popular option,” noted Miringoff.

The telephone survey polled 1,052 adults, including 884 registered voters. The poll has an overall margin of error of 3 percentage points. The margin is 3.3 percentage points among registered voters.

AFP Photo/Olivier Lang



  1. Budjob October 4, 2014

    I wish my wife would relent and say,I’m with you,let’s make the move to Canada!!

  2. Dominick Vila October 4, 2014

    The 2016 election is for Hillary to lose. In addition to qualifications, an outstanding record, a vision of the future that she can articulate like nobody else could, and a fighting spirit; the opposition, and her own party, do not have anyone who could be considered a viable opponent.
    The GOP will, no doubt, launch vicious attacks against her persona, her family, and her professional/political record, but this time they are not going to be dealing with someone they can push around. Hillary has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle, but she has also demonstrated that she is not a person that can be easily intimidated or manipulated. Issa’s Inquisitorial hearings come to mind…

  3. ericlipps October 4, 2014

    “Two Years Out, Poll Shows Hillary Clinton’s The 2016 Favorite,” reads the headline of this piece. You could easily change 2016 to 2008 and have written much the same article in 2006.

    Except, ahem, Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic nomination that year. You-know-who did, having leaped into the race seemingly from nowhere three weeks after Clinton announced her candidacy.

    Two years out, we don’t know a damn thing about who the Democrats will nominate in ’16. They don’t know. And it’s the same on the GOP side. Hey, back in 1978, how many people would have pegged Ronald Reagan as the Republican nominee inn 1980, let alone as the eventual winner of that year’s election? In 1958, how many people outside Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. had even heard of John F. Kennedy?

    Polls of this sort, this early, are worthless.


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