Hillary Clinton Now Has a Historically Massive Lead in Early Primary Polling

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 30 2014 10:52 AM

Hillary Clinton Now Has a Historically Massive Lead in Early Primary Polling

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Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Washington Post and ABC News this morning bring us an early look at the leader board for the 2016 presidential nominations. The fact that Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the Democrats will surprise absolutely no one—but the sheer size of her lead is something to behold: 61 points.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The former secretary of state holds a staggering 6 to 1 lead over her nearest rival, Joe Biden, in the survey. To put that in perspective, as the Fix helpfully does, that makes Clinton the "single biggest frontrunner for a Democratic presidential nomination in the history of the poll." Her 73-12 lead over Biden will only add another data point to the Beltway consensus that the nomination is Clinton's to lose—even if few people know how fleeting an early primary lead can be like Hillary. (The same WaPo/ABC polling outfit found Clinton with a 22-point lead in early primary polling back in 2006, and we all know how that turned out.)

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Still, it's hard to imagine a scenario where Biden—who as vice president isn't exactly lacking in name recognition—is able to significantly close the gap in time. The only other Democrat who earned a mention by pollsters, meanwhile, was Elizabeth Warren (8 percent), and she has already publicly ruled out a 2016 run. We're still two years out, of course, but in the meantime Clinton's unofficial campaign continues to rack up supporters and, perhaps more importantly, big-dollar contributors, making a dark-horse challenger that much less likely to pull off a stunner.

Over on the GOP side of things, meanwhile, we find a much more crowded field. Here's the full breakdown of the Republican field:

  • Paul Ryan, 20 percent
  • Jeb Bush, 18 percent
  • Chris Christie, 13 percent
  • Ted Cruz, 12 percent
  • Marco Rubio, 10 percent
  • Rand Paul, 11 percent
  • No opinion, 9 percent
  • None of these, 4 percent
  • Other, 2 percent
  • Would not vote, 1 percent

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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