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Take Hillary Out of the Mix, and the Democratic Nominee is…

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden jump to the head of the list of Democratic contenders if Hillary Clinton chooses not to run for president in 2016.

Democrats worried about the e-mail and foreign donation controversies now surrounding Clinton are beginning to talk about other possible presidential candidates for next year, but the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 88% of Likely Democratic Voters still believe Clinton is likely to be their party’s nominee.  This includes 60% who say it’s Very Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among all voters, 75% think Clinton is the next likely Democratic presidential nominee, with 41% who say it’s Very Likely. Just 18% feel it’s not very or Not At All Likely.

If Clinton decides not to run in 2016, however, 31% of Democrats would choose Warren, the first-term senator from Massachusetts, to be the party’s standard-bearer. Just as many (30%) would opt for Vice President Biden, a longtime Delaware senator prior to his election to his current position.

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders earns seven percent (7%) support among Democrats, while former Virginia Senator James Webb gets six percent (6%) of the vote. Ex-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, the focus of a number of news stories in recent days, draws just two percent (2%) support among voters in his own party. Twelve percent (12%) like some other candidate, and 13% are undecided.

Among all voters, the rankings are the same: Warren (25%), Biden (21%), Sanders (6%), Webb (5%) and O’Malley (2%). Seventeen percent (17%) prefer another choice; 23% are undecided.

With Clinton in the race, it’s a whole different scenario: She earns 59% of the vote from her fellow Democrats, and Warren’s a distant second with 12%. The others are all in low to mid-single digits.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 8-9, 2015 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.

Voters are troubled by Clinton’s use of a private e-mail provider while serving as secretary of State and the large donations made to the private Clinton Foundation by foreign governments while she was the nation’s chief overseas diplomat.

It’s important to remember, too, that with the election still far in the future, the race right now is mostly about name recognition. Clinton dominated the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination three years before the election, but when Illinois Senator Barack Obama formally entered the race in January 2007, it suddenly was a tie contest.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to support Warren if Clinton decides not to run.

Blacks are much stronger supporters of Biden than whites and other minority voters are.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans believe Clinton is still likely to be the Democratic presidential nominee, and 75% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree.

With Clinton out of the race, 29% of unaffiliated voters opt for Warren, with Biden in second with 15% support. But in a Democratic contest without Clinton, 45% of unaffiliateds like someone else or are undecided.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has surged to the front of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls in recent weeks, and he now gives Clinton a run for her money.

Only 28% of voters think Clinton and President Obama like each other, but 75% think the president is likely to endorse her over other Democratic contenders if she runs next year.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 8-9, 2015 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.

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