Email-gate may have dominated the headlines over the past few weeks, but evidently the scandal hasn’t trickled down to the grassroots level—at least not yet. And perhaps it never will. To wit, a newish CNN/ORC poll, which conducted head-to-head hypothetical matchups between Hillary Clinton and all the leading presumptive Republican hopefuls, is anything but positive news for the GOP. Though Jeb Bush (16 percent) leads the pack of Republicans, no candidate even comes close to defeating Hillary Clinton one-on-one (via Bill Kristol):
…none of the top candidates in this field gets within 10 points of Hillary Clinton in a series of hypothetical general election matchups.
Rand Paul comes closest, with 43% saying they'd be more likely to back him while 54% choose Clinton. The two candidates who currently top the GOP field, Bush and Walker, match up equally against Clinton, with each carrying 40% to her 55%. Huckabee gets 41% to Clinton's 55% and Carson has 40% to Clinton's 56%.
Fortunately for Hillary, her approval/disapproval numbers are also above water (53/44)—although they’ve fallen markedly since last November (59/38). Nevertheless, a majority of Democratic voters (with leaners included) support her candidacy (62 percent) over rivals such as Joe Biden (15 percent), Elizabeth Warren (10 percent), and Bernie Sanders (3 percent). These figures are consistent with previous polls.
There is, however, one major caveat: it is only 2015. Just because she’s dominating the field right now doesn’t mean she will be when Democratic primary-goers head to the polls in 2016. By the same token, just because Republican candidates aren’t competitive against her yet doesn’t mean she’s unbeatable and her election to the American presidency is a fait accompli. Much can change before the primary season begins in earnest.
Parting question: How is that even possible?