Well, I guess out of political boredom; Quinnipiac decided to do a small national poll of a potential 2016 presidential field and came up with the conclusion that most observers have already gravitated to. Hillary Clinton is by far the frontrunner for the Presidency (as of right now) if she wants it.
Testing Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Team Blue and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 2012 VP nominee Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the Republicans; Quinnipiac made an interesting choice with its nominees as it neglected Jeb Bush.
The numbers against Clinton look like this:
- Clinton: 45%, Christie: 37%
- Clinton: 50%, Ryan: 38%
- Clinton: 50%, Rubio: 34%
If Biden is the nominee:
- Biden: 40%, Christie: 43%
- Biden: 45%, Ryan: 42%
- Biden: 45%, Rubio: 38%
If Cuomo gets the nod:
- Cuomo: 28%, Christie: 45%
- Cuomo: 37%, Ryan: 42%
- Cuomo: 37%, Rubio: 37%
Now, it’s no shock given Clinton’s current popularity that she is the frontrunner. Even though she served in the Obama administration, Clinton was not directly tied to any Obama administration legislation thanks to her serving as Secretary of State. She is easily the most well-known politician (sans Barack Obama) in the nation and that type of name recognition will always make a potential candidate the early frontrunner.
As Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says, Clinton did have all of these advantages in 2006 before losing to then-Senator Obama.
Joe Biden will have his best shot at the Presidency in 2016 but it would be hard to see him beat Clinton 1-on-1 if the moment comes while Cuomo is probably one of the party’s biggest rising national stars.
For the Republicans, it’s a mixed bag. Christie definitely will help the party best with independent voters but some conservative voters would likely prefer Paul Ryan or Rand Paul if they run. Ryan has a bit more name recognition thanks to his VP run but it doesn’t seem to have made a positive difference in his numbers as he still trails Biden. Rubio might be thought to have the brightest political future but compared to his two rivals; he trails most likely due to a lack of national recognition sans the “sip heard ’round the world”.
Notable omissions of the Democratic side include Elizabeth Warren and Martin O’Malley while Republican omissions include Bush, Paul, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal. Still if Quinnipiac sees those three as the most likely frontrunners for the nomination it might be safe to say that it’s the case.
Then again, it’s only early 2013.