by Warner Todd Huston | March 18, 2015 4:20 pm
Despite all her troubles, including the newest email scandal that has yet to subside, CNN claims that Hillary Clinton still tops the field for the 2016 elections.
Of course, we are way, way out from any elections, but here is how CNN sees it…
Hillary Clinton continues to be a dominant force heading into the 2016 presidential election, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. The former secretary of state maintains a broad lead over the field of potential Democratic challengers she could face in a nomination contest and sizable advantages over the leading contenders from the Republican side in general election match-ups.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tops the possible field for the Republican Party’s nomination race, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson all in a tight cluster.×
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But 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%.
HotAir’s Allahpundit, though, has some handy reminders about this data…
“But AP,” you say, “head-to-head polls this early are useless. The Republican contenders are total unknowns to swing voters.” Right, but Hillary isn’t. She’s as close as you get in American politics to 100 percent name recognition. Everyone knows her and everyone has an opinion about her, which means that early polls like this one tend to operate as a measure of her “job approval” (for lack of a better term). Essentially, low-information voters are being asked here whether they prefer Hillary Clinton, baggage and all, or a Republican to be named later as their next president. Upwards of 55 percent prefer Hillary. She’s entering the race as acceptable to a sizable majority of the public, even in the midst of a legit scandal about her attempts to conceal records from the federal government. That’s what the GOP is up against as this campaign begins. Gulp.
Yes, it is way too far out of the 2016 election to worry over much about polling. Still, the GOP has a tall mountain to climb if Hillary is the Democrat nominee.
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