CNN Poll: Clinton tops list of 2016 hopefuls
December 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
1 year 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. Buffalo2002

    This is bad news for Republicans, who seem to be spending their time supporting NRA and not in finding their 2016 hopeful

    December 30, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Hillary–my advise to you is just RELAX with family. We need tou in future. Happy new year to all four of you.
    PS: know we love you so much.

    December 30, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. ObamaUnitl2016

    At this point, there is no GOP to run against anymore. The GOP is in complete meltdown mode.

    December 30, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Gibberish

    Scott Walker? The one that dropped out of college with poor grades, the first WI Governor in 64 years without a college degree?

    The GOP sure know how to lower the standard of excellence!

    December 30, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. scooter

    Talk about "early voting:" may I vote for her now?

    December 30, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. bergus

    after her EPIC FAILURE as secretary of state, i think it's time you expand your polling to people outside your own office.

    December 30, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Jim

    She'll run - she's incapable of stepping away from the chance for power and to push her political causes.

    December 30, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Kevin

    The way this "Fiscal Cliff" is being managed, I think it is safe to say that the Republican "Candidates" are a pointless crop of individuals. Republicans need to figure out sympathy, compromise, and resolve VERY quickly if they want to even have a seat in the House, let alone find a quality person for the presidency. TRUST is the love language of the people and right now you have very little love in the USA.

    December 30, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. gdouglaso

    Maybe a little early for speculation? If there is anything we learned from the Republicans...Cain, Perry, Bachman and so on that all held the lead in the last year prior to the election, there is a lot that can happen in a very little time. I get the sense that the political pundits at CNN are just having withdrawal symptoms and needing a fix after the recent election.

    December 30, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Thiep Nguyen

    I'll vote for her. I think shes proven herself as Sec. State. This lady has the smarts and the balls to run this country :)

    December 30, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. BostonBob

    The GOP is going to exist in 2 years? Chances are it will splinter into the crazies and the not-so-crazies, all those who are afraid of the tea party and their billionare backers.

    December 30, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Clarke

    I would think she would be a excellent president and feel she qualified for the job.

    December 30, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. bencoates57

    Kiss of death. This means she WON'T be President.

    December 30, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Kevin

    This report almost sounds like instead of trying to fix this nation and do their job, the parties are meeting up just to find out who will be the NEW GUY for the NEXT election already. These people are ridiculous. FIX the nation and THEN we will look into this wonderful crop of idiots you are forcing us to vote for in 4 years.

    December 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. tatangB

    HRC has the potential of becoming a great U.S. President, if she decides to run again and gets elected. She was able and ready in 2008, unfortunately, the country was not ready for her.

    December 30, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Adam Wilder

    If Hillary runs, the GOP have no chance, no chance at all. And, guess what... she will run!

    December 30, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Bob in Buxton

    The people that want Hillary are republicans. Nothing could make me not vote democratic more than having her as a candidate.

    December 30, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Piner

    Who in their right mind would vote for Hillary Clinton for president. She was and is incompatant to do the job of Secratary of State, She lied to the american people about what went on over in Libia. She is now dodging this issue of our ambassador being murdered. She is now acting like she has a concussion and cant use her brain. She didn't even go to the doctor with her terrible brain injury from a conjured up fall. She like the rest of the Clintons appears to be missleading the people.

    December 30, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. msadr

    I think Hillary Clinton is doing a fantastic job as Secretary of State. She seems to be wearing herself out to do it! I can't imagine she would have any strength left after 4 more years of being superwoman. It would surprise me if she decided to run at that time. Not sure her age, but I think she'd be in her 70's in 2016. And she'd probably be exhausted by that time. Let the poor woman retire.

    December 30, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. maxmaxwell

    hahahahahahaha. bwaaaaaaaaaa. roflmao, can you say funny???? CNN please stop with the jokes already!!!

    December 30, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. TooFunny

    Well, we know that men have a hard time of doing a good job at POTUS, why not try a woman? You can't keep doing the same thing over and over, only to expect different results. That is insanity my dear people.

    December 30, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Joan Wheeler

    I have supported and worked hard for Secretary Clinton for Senate in New York and then in her campaign for President. I would support her again if she runs; my only concern is that she will be 69 in 2016, and I fear she has missed the presidential wave. Instead, I would hope she would return to the Senate (or accept another position in the Obama Administration - Sec. of Health???) where she can once again be an effective legislator.

    December 30, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. DB

    Ok, the Republicans need to change and refocus, the Democrats need to get off their high horse and start doing the job of leading this country forward instead of into the ground. Reid and Palosi need to retire and leave the political BS they have created. Hillary needs to retire along with her husband. Remember Whitewater and the deaths that created, the "I do not recall" answers, the cheating, the legislation that occured under Clinton that now created the mess we are in today with opening up the free trade and jobs went out of country and cheap junk came in from China. The whole cast of charactors that practice under the Capital Dome needs to be replaced with honest, truth telling, patrotic, and criminal free people that will lead this country rather than continue to rape it. Term Limits need to be put in place, Special health and retirement programs for Senators, Congresspersons, travel perks, and protective laws need to be stopped. This is killing the rest of the chattle out here that are oblivioius to the actions of the 555 people of Washinton DC that create the mess we have to live in .

    December 30, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. Mark

    Kevin,
    I agree.
    Both parties seem to be in election mode rather than help the country mode.
    Term limits.

    December 30, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. kris

    Nope. Her "medical conditions will disqualify her. Sorry!

    December 30, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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