That's how many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll said they could see themselves supporting Hillary Clinton for the party's nomination in 2016, a stark sign of how little genuine resistance there is within the party to the idea of the former secretary of state as the nominee.
In fact, support for Clinton on that question has risen since NBC-WSJ last asked it in March, even as Bernie Sanders appears to be picking up momentum in his primary challenge to Clinton. In March, 86 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they could see themselves supporting Clinton, while 13 percent said they could not imagine themselves supporting her.
Compare that to where the Republican field stands on that same question. Jeb Bush leads the way with 75 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents saying they could support him, while 74 percent said the same of Marco Rubio. Mike Huckabee (65 percent could support), Scott Walker (57 percent) and Rick Perry (53 percent) round out the top five for the GOP.
The simple fact is that for all the chatter about discontent toward Clinton, it's indisputable that her side is not only very comfortable with the idea of her as the nominee but significantly more so than Republicans are with any of their options.
How then to reconcile that 92 percent number with the fact that six in 10 (62 percent) of those same Democrats said they prefer a "challenging primary" over an "easy" one for Clinton? A couple of ways: (1) Human nature makes us like some level of competition. We like the idea that no one gets anything without hard work. (2) There is a desire to see Clinton tested in some way to prove that she is ready for what Republicans are going to throw at her. It's the same sort of mentality that suggests that a boxer who has been out of the game for a while needs to do some sparring before entering a prizefight.
The desire for Clinton to have a somewhat serious primary is, almost exclusively, born of a desire to make her stronger and more ready for the general election, not out of a belief that she has something to prove before she can be an acceptable choice for most Democrats.
The way that someone who is as big a favorite as Clinton loses a party nomination (or comes close to losing one) is a failure to understand that a significant pocket of discontent — ideological, generally — exists and is in search of a candidate. It doesn't exist in this race, and to the extent it ever did, the trend line on Clinton's numbers suggests that she has effectively shrunk that group to a relatively meaningless number.
So yes, Sanders (or maybe Martin O'Malley) will clean up among the 8 percent of Democrats who say they simply can't support Clinton. And it won't worry Clinton or her team in the least. Nor should it. She is, in the minds of almost every Democrat, the party's de facto nominee. And almost no one has a problem with that.