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. plumbrite

    You can't trust the person in Question,You might think obama is bad for the country,neither is of any value to the citizens of the USA,nor the world.

    December 30, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Allen R. Scott

    The last election do nothings are NOT swore in yet Give it a rest for a couple of years, Do things for the people of the country and quit running for reelection for 4 years!!!!!!

    December 30, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Trixtur

    The GOP is dead and they know it. They lose 1% per year. All the Koch cash in the world won't save them in 2016. They can slow down the Dem agenda, but their own agenda will never advance again. Say hello to legal gay marriage, legal pot, a smaller military and the end of corporate welfare. We are coming for your monies, richies.

    December 30, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. J Jones

    Ron Paul / Thomas Jefferson 2016.

    December 30, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. robert

    More bad news

    December 30, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. RF Burns

    I haven't heard much from her after she developed amnesia about Benghazi from a bump on the head and couldn't testify before the congressional committee. Anyway, I'm sure she will recover in time for the campaign.

    December 30, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Jennifer

    I am a big time Obama supporter, but I'll never vote for any Clinton. Right now, my vote would be for Elizabeth Warren. I could also get into Mark Warner or Andrew Cuomo. Maybe Biden, though I worry if he can stay focused. Beyond that, I'd vote third party--or consider Chris Christie if he got the Republican nod.

    December 30, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Clouds9

    Hillary Clinton 2016!!!!!!

    December 30, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. george

    She will NEVER defeat Marco Rubio

    December 30, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. David Kuklinski

    The right wing reaction to this would be completely worth the vote.

    December 30, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. n, tx

    Mrs Clinton will run for the president of united states she will relax in 2013 and middle of 2014 she will up to run, she will win the white house with no problem Republican have no chance beating her.

    December 30, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. disgustedvet

    CNN poll says . Almost as phony as I'm from the Govt. and I'm here to help you .

    December 30, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. SuperDave

    Great. Instead of a progressive forward thinking person we want a fainting gramma? Really??

    December 30, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. nonPCrealist

    Sure, why not. She can finish the work Obama has started and bury the country.

    December 30, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. billmelater1

    Na we don't have to worry. By 2016 there will be no USA left just a bunch of smaller countries created out of this mess we are in.

    December 30, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Grampa

    Hillary would make a terrific president, especially if Bill consented to be her Chief of Staff. But if not running really is her decision, and is not going to change, her wishes must be respected. The Republicans have so damaged themselves with their extremist attitudes that pretty much any Democratic nominee will win as long as he/she has the backbone to stand up to the Karl Rove negative ads. That's the only weapon the Republicans have left. They certainly can't run on their record.

    December 30, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. J R Brown

    Look around the globe and see how well she's done impacting world events as Sec of State and then wonder why would we make her president? Her term as Sec of State saw no real diplomatic success stories but there are more than a few failures...mostly the fact that she couldn't muster any type of coalition to deal with Syria's mass murdering dictator.

    In the Democrat universe, you obviously get points for just trying...whether you actually accomplish anything or not is irrelevant.

    December 30, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. OldJoe

    Secretary Clinton will be our next president.
    No doubt.
    As far as Republican candidates or chances of winning, Puhleeze!
    No Fat Dudes Need Apply.
    Nor preachers.
    Nor those wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare.
    Speaking of those plans:

    OLD PEOPLE WHO VOTED REPUBLICAN;
    ARE YOU SORRY YET?

    (And no, I'm not a Democrat)

    December 30, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    Hillary Clinton for president in 2016! Ready to put up campaign signs and posters on my front lawn and windows.

    December 30, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    CNN poll must be out of their minds. Personally I've had enough of the Clintons. He's a cheat with no integrity and she is incompetent.

    December 30, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. plain&simple

    WE NEED A 6 YEAR TERM for the highest office in our country....Senators have this and It's not crazy time when their elections come up. ONE 6 YEAR TERM allows our country some time to be governed,while not having the person in the White House concerned with anything OTHER than their responsibilities! The hopefuls in both parties can fight it out while our President continues to function!

    December 30, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. F.Daniel Gray

    All this speculation is founded on the contention of the stability of the present US domestic and international conditions. a terribly flawed view. Three years from now, the serious unemployment situation will have to be addressed, including long term plans which involve government intervention and initiative. In view of the fact that corporate America is so motivated. mainly due to its bottom line, profits mantra. Emergency "handouts," can only be temporary, and are not a solution over the long term. And, the undocumented immigrant population, remains an unanswered conundrum.

    Second: neither can the Mid East turmoil continue on a day to day basis. The West/US will see that they were ill advised to chose sides in conflicts where no stable "victor" or broad based consensus seemed likely. So far, none of the contesting groupings have wide support. The "dust" is nowhere showing signs of settling. making the "survival" of Israel, our "proxy" in the region, in its current configuration untenable. Certainly the "Mubarak" solution will not likely be a choice, due to its eventual failure. It's no longer the 19th century, and the military can no longer provide 'stability." a give and take diplomacy is the answer. NOT: "my way or the highway." Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan ventures has knocked that into a cocked hat.

    Given the above, it's not likely any of the present contenders listed in the poll will be viable three years from now.

    December 30, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Thinker

    You know how bad the republicans are doing, when they think that the country wants another Bush in office, let alone Palin. Clinton 2016

    December 30, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. steve

    This is why the GOP will try as hard as humanly possible to destroy her prior to 2016. They will resort to fearmongering, misinformation, and more vote tampering to stop her from the Presidency.

    December 30, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Meki60

    gag me with a spoon

    December 30, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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