A new Monmouth University poll of Democrats has found that Hillary Clinton is the leading Elizabeth Warren in a potential contest for the 2016 Democratic nomination 48%-6%.
According to the Monmouth Polling Institute,
When asked to name who they would like to see as the next Democrat nominee for president, nearly half (48%) of Democrats and Democratic leaning voters volunteer Hillary Clinton. No other candidate registers in double digits. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is named by 6%, independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is named by 2%, and Vice President Joe Biden is named by 2%.
About 4-in-10 (43%) Democratic voters think it would be better if the party got behind Clinton early in the nominating process, but more (48%) say it would be better if she faced an active primary challenge. Democratic men (56%) are more likely than women (42%) to prefer a contested nomination. While most self-professed Clinton supporters (53%) would like to see the field cleared for her, a significant number (41%) would actually like to see their favored candidate face an active challenge for the nomination.
The poll was released on the same day that MoveOn.org announced that their petition to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016 had passed 111,000 signatures. Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn Political Action said, “In just a few days since MoveOn launched the Run Warren Run campaign with an 81.3% vote of MoveOn members across the country, more than 100,000 Americans have stood up to say they’re ready for Senator Elizabeth Warren to take her bold vision of standing up to Wall Street and fighting for working families to the 2016 presidential race. This moment was made for Senator Warren, and we’re ready to show her the tremendous energy around and support for her candidacy.”
While MoveOn keeps pushing her to run, Sen. Warren told NPR, “I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?”
On one hand, it looks like the campaign to draft Warren could be a waste of time and money, but it is clear that a sizable number of Democrats would like to see Hillary Clinton face a serious primary challenge. The problem is that there are virtually no Democrats who have the combination of talent and resources that are required to push Hillary Clinton in the primary.
The lack of popularity of the 2016 Clinton alternatives makes one appreciate the enormity of Barack Obama’s political skills. Because Obama beat Clinton in 2008, it is possible that some on the left are underestimating her. What they don’t realize is that it took someone with the skills of Obama in order to go toe to toe with Clinton.
Elizabeth Warren doesn’t have Obama’s skills on the campaign trail, neither does Bernie Sanders. That isn’t to suggest that a challenger can’t or won’t emerge, but that defeating Hillary Clinton won’t be as easy as raising a few million bucks and holding some events in Iowa and New Hampshire.
A lot of Democrats want a primary challenger for Hillary Clinton. The question is do any of the potential Clinton rivals have what it takes to stop her from winning the Democratic nomination?