CNN Poll: Clinton tops list of 2016 hopefuls
December 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
10 months ago

CNN Poll: Clinton tops list of 2016 hopefuls

Washington (CNN) - Hillary Clinton hasn't even stepped down yet as secretary of state and there's already constant speculation as to whether she'll run again for the White House. While no decision from her on any future bid for president is expected in 2013, expect speculation about her future political plans to intensify throughout the New Year.

But if she eventually changes her mind and decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, a new national survey indicates that the vast majority of Democrats would consider backing her as their party's nominee.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday morning, 85% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party say they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton if she runs for the Democratic nomination. There's a slight gender divide, with 93% of Democratic women saying they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton. That figure drops to 79% among Democratic men.

Clinton has repeatedly said that she intends to retire to private life once her successor as secretary of state is confirmed by the Senate, and she's added that another run for the White House is not in the cards for her.

"Look, I'm flattered. I am honored," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer earlier this year about calls by other Democrats for her to consider another run in 2016. "That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country."

Two-thirds of Democrats questioned say they would be very or somewhat likely to support Vice President Joe Biden if he runs for the White House. Biden has not ruled out a third bid for president (he ran unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008). On Election Day, when asked if it was the last time he'd vote for himself, the vice president said "No, I don't think so."

The poll indicates that 56% of Democrats say they would be very or somewhat likely to support New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Empire State governor, who was elected in 2010, is thought to be considering a run for president, possibly taking the step that his father, former three-term N.Y. Gov. Mario Cuomo, did not take in 1992.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats say they'd be very or somewhat likely to back Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who's very popular with the liberal base of the party, with 41% saying they would support that state's two-term governor, Deval Patrick. And 37% say they would be very or somewhat likely to support outgoing Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Only six potential White House hopefuls from each party were included in the survey's questionnaire, so respondents were not asked about some possible contenders for the Democratic nomination, such as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

Considering the race that is some two years from starting, the results are influenced mostly by name recognition.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted in December 2008 indicated that 34% of Republicans said they were very or somewhat likely to support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as their 2012 nominee, with then-Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska at 32%. Both of them eventually decided to pass on running in 2012. A few points back were the eventual nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who did seek the nomination.

Romney's running mate tops the current GOP list of 2016 hopefuls. Three-quarters of Republicans or independents who lean Republican say that they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan if he runs. At a recent conservative awards dinner Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, joked about running for the White House, saying "know any good diners in New Hampshire or Iowa? I'm sure the press won't read too much into that one."

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they'd back Chris Christie. The tough-talking New Jersey governor considered running for the 2012 nomination but eventually ruled it out and backed Romney.

One point behind Christie in the poll is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and 51% say they'd support that state's former governor, Jeb Bush. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who's publicly said he's considering a run, had the approval of 48% of respondents, as did former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who earlier this year battled Romney deep into the spring for the GOP nomination.

Among the possible GOP hopefuls not included in the questionnaire are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International December 17-18, with 290 Democrats and independents who lean Democrat, and 290 Republicans and independents who lean Republican, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Meki60

    that really makes me feel ill.

    December 30, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Her handling of the entire Benghazi affair has been atrocious. Not to mention her handling of the case of the ex-Marine who was recently released from a Mexican prison after being sent there on bogus charges. It took over four months to get him out, and it happened ONLY because of pressure applied on her and Obama by Fox News, particularly Bill O'Reillly.

    December 30, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. babooph

    She would likely be great,roots are deep for her in BOTH parties,BUT a very strong VP is needed due to her age..

    December 30, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Tom

    Then she can spend a few years blaming Obama??

    December 30, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. DasBoot

    If they can find her

    December 30, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. A little sad

    What's the residency requirement for Senate in Massachusetts? I believe the special election for Kerry's seat must take place between 150 and 180 days after the seat becomes vacant.

    Maybe she can move to Amherst for the winter, then run as Senator from MA.

    December 30, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. qularknoo

    Hillary refused to answer the "3 o'clock AM phone call" from Benghazi ... she isn't qualified to be President!

    December 30, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. jorge washinsen

    I would love for her to be in there now but, if she has memory trouble as has been reported by all liberal networks, why would she qualify for president?

    December 30, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. jorge washinsen

    I just won a bet from a liberal friend of mine.Almost can make a living betting on liberal reactions to statement they can't handle.

    December 30, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. jorge washinsen

    I like that" sound off thing", only if you sound off the CNN way.

    December 30, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. LIa

    To All Media:
    Please, please have the decency to wait until at least 2014 before starting to speculate about the 2016 election.
    2014 is now only 1 year away. You can hold out at least this long.

    December 30, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. The Voice of Sanity

    Out of the frying pan and into the face of the frigging sun!!!!!!!!

    December 30, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Ken

    I know for sure our country is doomed. When Obama, Hillary, Oprah and Ellen are the idols our country leans toward Hell will surely be our destination.

    December 30, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Not Going to Happen

    Not. Going. To. Happen. I actually didn't mind that much seeing Obama win it. He is not a national embarassment like the Clintons are. We have 4 years to find a blinkin' candidate who can beat her. We cannot fail. We must not fail.

    December 30, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. WestyJoe

    Please – please – please... CNN don't talk about 2016. We can't even get out of 2012. If we keep focusing on the next election, why would you expect the politicians to do their work? They have to spend every moment campaigning because the press keeps focusing on elections... Sad.

    December 30, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Vincent

    Hillary Clinton will probably win the democratic nomination. And f she does, then the democrats will get the presidency too. The only republican that might have a chance to win would be a moderate such as Jon Huntsman, who i think may have even given Obama a better run.

    But if the extreme right of the republican party continues with its agenda, then there wont even be a contest, and the democrats will win regardless of who the republican nominee is.

    December 30, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Peter Q Wolfe

    The irony here is that Hillary was my first choice for the 2008 democratic primary for President of the U.S! I don't really like much of the democratic choices as alternatives but would like either party to pick someone of a engineering or science background. The solutions that we need are scientific from curing cancer, disabilities, exploring the universe, building rail and combaating climate change should be the first mission of the U.S not even Defense should be as high. I truly believe that the problems conforting us need a rational prospective not emotional or theoritical economic idea attached to them.

    December 30, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Bill

    There have been Bushes and Clintons running the White House since the 80's.. That looks like a family run Monarchy to me, whether or not you choose to believe in the facade of voting. Maybe Chelsea can carry the royal torch after Hillary? Oh well, the presidency is all acting and theatrics anyways.

    December 30, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Ken

    Trixtur...you are no better and are probably worse than the "rich" you hate and envy and your comment bears that out.

    December 30, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Wish-it-were-true

    In four years Hillary will be 69 years old.

    If elected, Hillary would be the oldest President in U.S. history.

    And, the median age for a President is 54.

    It is just not going to happen, and I hope she does not play the spoiler.

    December 30, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. I will wait

    I like Hillary but doubt she will run. Biden is best as a vp, not the president, and if we selected Warren I think the general population would feel she is too liberal and it would hurt the party. I will wait and see who is actually announcing and then make a decision.

    December 30, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. empresstrudy

    Nonsense. We will repeal the 22nd amendment and Obama will run for a third (and 4th and 5th and 6th) term. All Hail.

    December 30, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Jim

    Will she have President Obama's support? Biden has given indications he will be running on at least one occasion.

    December 30, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
1 2 3