Looks like we really are going to start talking about the 2016 elections already. And by "talking about the 2016 elections," we mean "speculate constantly on the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidential run."
With the GOP still just trying to figure out themselves after their messy breakup with Karl Rove, pollsters have begun taking the temperature on a Clinton ticket like a mother monitoring a feverish child. If the results of recent polling is any indication, the news is so far so good for the secretary of state.
Here's a round-up of some of the more important numbers so far, for what they're worth:
She's the top choice in her adopted home state: A new Siena New York poll out today shows Clinton with a 75 percent favorability rating, her best ever in the poll. More than half of those surveyed (54 percent) said they want Clinton to run for president, compared to only 39 percent who said they'd prefer her to stay on the sidelines in four years. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received similarly high marks from voters in his home state, but a plurality (49 percent) said they didn't want him to run for president.
She's popular with Iowa and Florida Democrats. Just after the 2012 elections, Clinton was already polling well in the the early voting state of Iowa in some early results from Public Policy Polling, with 58 percent of the Democratic vote compared to other hypothetical contenders Joe Biden, Cuomo, and Elizabeth Warren, at 17 percent, 6 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. In Florida, Clinton took 61 percent of support, beating Biden's 18 percent and Cuomo's 8 percent.
And, perhaps most importantly for now, most Americans want her to throw her hat in the ring. According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll released this morning, 57 percent of Americans want the first lady to transition from secretary of state to presidential candidate. She fares particularly well with female voters, with 2 out of 3 women saying they'd support her if she ran. That number climbs to 3 out of 4 when the demographic is limited to women under 50.
So what does it mean? Probably not a whole lot for now given Obama hasn't even officially started his second term yet. But political crystal ball gazers might note that Romney—who started hiring staffers to look at a possible 2012 run just after Obama's 2008 victory—was also polling pretty well in 2009 for the GOP nod. Then again, so was Sarah Palin.