August 25, 2014
By John Zogby
Washingon, DC – Who needs book sales, hugs, and good television interviews? So far, not former Secretary of State, former Senator, and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Despite taking a pounding from Beltway pundits, Mrs. Clinton retains a solid lead over her challengers for the 2016 Democratic nomination, according to a new poll by Zogby Analytics.
The new online poll, conducted nationwide among likely Democratic voters, Mrs. Clinton leads with 54%, followed distantly by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice-President with 10% each. Next in line is Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley with 4%, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb with 1% each, 6% selecting “other”, and 15% not sure.
Mrs. Clinton leads among both men (49% to 13% Biden and 11% Warren) and women (58% to Warren’s 10% and Biden’s 7%). She also has solid support among liberals (60% to Warren’s 15% and Biden’s 7%), Hispanics (63% to 14% for Warren and 8% for Biden) and African Americans (57% to Biden’s 17% and Warren 10%). She falls under 50% among 18-29 year olds and those over 65.
What is breathtaking about this round of results is that they come on the heels of what has been according to everyone a bad summer for Mrs. Clinton. Her book sales, while good, have not matched expectations and she has gotten herself in trouble for saying some controversial things, notably recently criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy.
Right now there appears to be no chink in her armor but there are some things to remember. The first is that for now she is running against herself and high expectations. In a potentially crowded field, it will be hard to match this 50% plus showing. Any sign of falling short may be treated as failure. Second, is the very real possibility of “Clinton Fatigue”. For now, both she and the former President are riding high in public sentiment. President Clinton’s eight years are recalled with fondness for peace and prosperity. But they more they are in the public eye, the greater the possibility for mistakes or overreach. She will have to continue to walk a very fine line for a long time. Even Clintons can make mistakes. Third is the possibility of another challenger – notably popular U.S. Senators from Virginia Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, or even California Governor Jerry Brown, who is basking in his own wave of glory for performing some fiscal miracles in the Golden State.
But polls measure a moment in time and at this moment it is all about Hillary.