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Hillary Clinton Is Leading Favorite – And Unfavorite – in Democratic Presidential Pack

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Hillary Clinton is the Democrat voters most want to see win her party’s presidential nomination in 2016 – and least want to see win that nomination, too. Among Democrats, she’s the overwhelming favorite.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of Likely Democratic Voters would choose Clinton if the 2016 Democratic presidential primary were held in their state today. Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second with 12% support. Several other prominent Democrats muster five percent (5%) or less support from voters in their own party. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Among all Likely Voters, Clinton leads the pack of possible Democratic contenders with 39% of the vote. But the former secretary of State also is number one when voters are asked which candidate they would least like to see win the Democratic nomination in 2016: 27% feel that way about her, but Biden’s a much closer second at 24%.

Clinton was also the favorite in August 2005, three years before the 2008 Democratic National Convention, but subsequently lost in the primaries to Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

As for the rest of the Democratic field in this survey, seven percent (7%) of voters would choose Biden or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo if the 2016 Democratic presidential primary were held in their state today. Three percent (3%) would choose Newark Mayor Cory Booker who is now running for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. Two percent (2%) each like Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Twenty percent (20%) would choose some other candidate, and another 20% are undecided.

When asked which candidate they would least like to see get their party’s nomination, Democrats group Clinton, Biden, Cuomo and Villaraigosa together with 15% to 17% opposition each. O’Malley and Booker poll less opposition, but that’s most likely due to their lack of national name recognition at this early stage of the game. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Clinton was the most popular member of President Obama’s Cabinet throughout her four years as secretary of State. Sixty-one percent (61%) shared a favorable opinion of her just before she stepped down in January. On the other hand, voters have been narrowly divided in their opinions of Biden throughout his time in office.

Women are more enthusiastic supporters of Clinton than men are. Men are more likely to hope she doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.

Clinton leads among blacks, whites and other minority voters, but black support is nearly twice that found in the other groups.

Older voters support Clinton more strongly than those under 40 do, but these younger voters are also more undecided at this point.Sixty-nine percent (69%) of liberals and 47% of moderates support the former first lady and U.S. senator, compared to 14% of conservatives.

Union voters are more skeptical of Clinton than those who do not belong to a union. Tea Party voters overwhelmingly prefer another candidate.Among voters who would vote for some other candidate if the 2016 Democratic primary were held in their state today, 46% say Clinton is the candidate they would least like to see win the party’s nomination.

The president’s monthly job approval rating held steady at 47% in July, unchanged from June but tying his lowest approval rating since December 2011. Obama’s ratings for the past two months are more in line with his approval during most of his first term in office.

Voters are almost evenly divided these days when asked which political party they trust more to handle the 15 important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. They continue to trust Republicans most on the number one issue, the economy, and other money issues like taxes, job creation and government spending.  They trust Democrats more in areas such as energy policy, the environment, health care and education.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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