Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Polling shows Clinton leading every viable Republican challenger

Clinton leads Bush, Christie and Walker by 55-40 margins

If the election for president were held today former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win.

In a poll released by CNN earlier today, Clinton has leading numbers against every viable Republican challenger, including Jeb Bush (55-40) Chris Christie (55-40), Marco Rubio (55-42) and Scott Walker (55-40).

That’s a huge uphill battle for Republicans to climb. With the presidential election just over 18 months away most GOP candidates vying to win the presidency are facing around a 15-point margin against the former First Lady.

Why might this be? A lot of it has to do with name recognition. Clinton has a ton of it, bursting onto the national scene when her husband Bill became president in 1993. That’s more than 22 years of being in the spotlight. Many of these other candidates don't have half of that exposure at the national level.

Another facet to her popularity over the Republican contenders is that the GOP nomination is currently a race to the hard right. Those vying for the Republican nomination are trying to woo an ever-increasingly conservative base.

This isn’t uncommon in American politics -- the move from nomination contests to the general election is often a huge swing ideologically for both candidates. But the Republican swing seems to be wider, with Republican candidates staking policy positions that may appeal to primary voters within their party but not so much within the electorate overall.

Meanwhile, independents in America seem to be getting more liberal, especially among Millennials who are becoming a large bloc of the American electorate.

(I first spotted this trend in 2010, noting that dipping polling numbers for President Obama seemed to suggest that dissatisfied liberals were behind the drop.)

Whoever the Republican candidate for president ends up being they’re going to face some huge challenges in 2016. They’ll have to explain some pretty outlandish policies and statements that seemed like the right thing to support before their nomination but don’t hold up well within the American populace overall.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, the all-but-certain nominee for the Democratic Party’s ticket, seems to have things wrapped up already. It isn’t a guaranteed victory, but it’s a comfortable lead that she holds for the time being.

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