Democrats don’t want a free pass for Clinton

A majority of Democrats say they would rather that Hillary Clinton face a competitive primary in 2016. But even in that case, they're prepared to give her a landslide win.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 55 percent of Democratic-leaning respondents think that other Democrats should run, while 28 percent think Clinton should be unopposed and 13 percent say she shouldn't run, period.


The numbers are all the more interesting because, even as Democrats say they want a competitive primary, they really don't see anybody actually competing with Clinton right now.

Clinton gets two-thirds of the vote in a hypothetical national primary. Among others, there's Vice President Biden at 12 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — who has sworn she isn't running — at 7 percent, and nobody else above even 2 percent.


The data suggest that Clinton's "inevitability" in the Democratic primary is as much about the lack of viable options — or, at least, the lack of viable options people actually know about.

We've written before about how, the moment Clinton announces, her popularity is likely to return to its previous levels. We still think she could face a competitive primary, but the real question is whether the opposition is up to the task.

This poll suggests that Democratic voters are — at the very, very least — open to alternatives.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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Aaron Blake · June 8, 2014

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