Poll: Democrats Really Need Hillary Clinton to Run in 2016

Daniel Doherty
Posted: Apr 03, 2013 6:00 PM

Why? Because if she doesn’t, things could get a little complicated (via PPP):

On the Democratic side support for Hillary Clinton to be the party nominee has hit its highest level of support in our national polling since the election last year. 64% of the party's voters want her to be the candidate to 18% for Joe Biden, 5% for Elizabeth Warren, and 3% for Andrew Cuomo with no one else polling above 2%. Clinton has majority support from liberals and moderates, men and women, African Americans, Latinos, and white voters, and voters within every age group that we track.

If Clinton doesn't run 49% of Democrats say they would support Biden to 11% for Warren, 10% for Cuomo, and 7% for Kirsten Gillibrand with no one else above 3%. And if neither Clinton nor Biden runs Democrats have no clue who they want- 22% go for Cuomo and 18% for Warren but the big winner is someone else or undecided at 36%.

Holy smokes that’s nearly 50 percent for our illustrious vice president? Still, it’s hard to believe if Hillary Clinton sits this one out The One’s torch will pass to Joe Biden, a guy who's made more gaffes on camera and embarrassed himself more times in public than I care to recount. Question: is there anyone out there on the Left who seriously wants this man to be their candidate for president in 2016? Obviously, according to the poll, Democrats will hop on the Biden Bandwagon if and only if Hillary “retires” (which seems less and less likely by the day), but is it because of his current name recognition and vaunted, one-heart-beat-away status in the Obama White House? Or because Democrats genuinely believe, at age 74, Biden will be ready to lead the nation?

Meanwhile, on the Republican side of the ledger, Marco Rubio leads the pack with 21% support, followed closely by Rand Paul (second) and Chris Christie (third) at 17% and 15%, respectively. But most interestingly, Paul’s political star seems to be rising. For example, a poll taken in early February showed him leaps and bounds behind the competition, in 6th place. Now he’s trailing the front-runner by only a few percentage points. His old school, talking filibuster seems to have really catapulted him into the limelight, and thus into the upper echelons of much-talked-about 2016 GOP candidates -- a place he no doubt wants to be. But will it last?

If anything, these results are quite telling: the Republicans have a packed bench of young, dynamic conservatives looking to lead the party in 2016. Democrats, by contrast, don’t. They have Hillary Clinton (an admittedly accomplished and talented candidate who would be difficult to beat in a general election) and Joe Biden. Of course, this isn’t to say that another progressive presidential candidate couldn’t come along and shake up the race (a la Barack Obama in 2007), but it’s slowly dawned on me that at least the GOP will be a force to be reckoned with in 2016. And that’s really all that matters at this point, right?