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New CNN Poll on 2016: Hillary Clinton overwhelming favorite among Democrats; Paul Ryan tops GOP field

December 30th, 2012, 09:00 AM ET

Washington (CNN) - Hillary Clinton hasn't even stepped down yet as secretary of state and there's already constant speculation as to whether she'll run again for the White House. While no decision from her on any future bid for president is expected in 2013, expect speculation about her future political plans to intensify throughout the New Year.

But if she eventually changes her mind and decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, a new national survey indicates that the vast majority of Democrats would consider backing her as their party's nominee.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday morning, 85% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party say they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton if she runs for the Democratic nomination. There's a slight gender divide, with 93% of Democratic women saying they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton. That figure drops to 79% among Democratic men.

Clinton has repeatedly said that she intends to retire to private life once her successor as secretary of state is confirmed by the Senate, and she's added that another run for the White House is not in the cards for her.

"Look, I'm flattered. I am honored," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer earlier this year about calls by other Democrats for her to consider another run in 2016. "That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country."

Two-thirds of Democrats questioned say they would be very or somewhat likely to support Vice President Joe Biden if he runs for the White House. Biden has not ruled out a third bid for president (he ran unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008). On Election Day, when asked if it was the last time he'd vote for himself, the vice president said "No, I don't think so."

The poll indicates that 56% of Democrats say they would be very or somewhat likely to support New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Empire State governor, who was elected in 2010, is thought to be considering a run for president, possibly taking the step that his father, former three-term N.Y. Gov. Mario Cuomo, did not take in 1992.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats say they'd be very or somewhat likely to back Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who's very popular with the liberal base of the party, with 41% saying they would support that state's two-term governor, Deval Patrick. And 37% say they would be very or somewhat likely to support outgoing Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Only six potential White House hopefuls from each party were included in the survey's questionnaire, so respondents were not asked about some possible contenders for the Democratic nomination, such as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

Considering the race that is some two years from starting, the results are influenced mostly by name recognition.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted in December 2008 indicated that 34% of Republicans said they were very or somewhat likely to support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as their 2012 nominee, with then-Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska at 32%. Both of them eventually decided to pass on running in 2012. A few points back were the eventual nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who did seek the nomination.

Romney's running mate tops the current GOP list of 2016 hopefuls. Three-quarters of Republicans or independents who lean Republican say that they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan if he runs. At a recent conservative awards dinner Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, joked about running for the White House, saying "know any good diners in New Hampshire or Iowa? I'm sure the press won't read too much into that one."

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they'd back Chris Christie.

[More at CNN link]:

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1801/01/2013

Paul Ryan? I guess Republicans want to lose again

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 112/30/2012

Hillary in 2008, 2012 and finally in 2016!

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 212/30/2012

Clinton/Booker 2016!

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 312/30/2012

Wow! Christie really hurt himself among Republicans during Hurricane Sandy. Only 59% support?!? The thing with Republicans is that they never forget a slight, so his numbers are unlikely to improve that much. It looks like he's going to lose the nomination to Ryan, Rubio or Bush.

I saw a Republican pundit on TV this week who predicted that Republicans would soon start praising Joe Biden in an effort to build up his profile. They want Biden to run against Hillary in the primary, which would damage her to some extent.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 412/30/2012

Ryan? Really? He seems like such a loser and didn't really perform all that well in the campaign. Getting boo'd at AARP and got creamed in the debate with Biden.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 612/30/2012

PLEASE let Ryan have the ticket. It would be nice for the first woman president to win 45+ states.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 712/30/2012

I would prefer Hillary Clinton/Deval Patrick over Cory Booker.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 812/30/2012

Wow, they've really learned nothing from 2012.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 912/30/2012

I've said this before but I think Hillary's talk of being tired and needing a personal life is because she'll have some cosmetic work done soon. She'll slim down, lay low so it's not obvious, and get a new haircut. When she comes back to public life people will assume her looking better is because she's rested. She'll make up some story about realizing during her time off she still can help the country, or some spin like that.

I think Obama offered her the SOS position to give her foreign policy credentials for a 2016 run.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1012/30/2012

Biden was merciless with that boy at the debates. Looks like the GOP won't get anywhere near the White House in the foreseeable future.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1112/30/2012

The 18 to 22 year olds won't vote for her!

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1212/30/2012

[quote]The thing with Republicans is that they never forget a slight, so his numbers are unlikely to improve that much.

I have to disagree with this. I think that episode will fade almost completely by the time the next primary season rolls around. And it's a tough one for Republicans to bring up in an ad or debate because it highlights the decent work that Christie did after the storm.

I'm not saying that Christie will be the nominee; just that I don't think that particular issue will matter much.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1312/30/2012

She was the overwhelming favorite in 2008, how did that work out?

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1412/30/2012

r14, it worked out well for her, considering the misogynistic bullshit she had to deal with, thrown at her by people like you.

She lost by a hair, and not by a landslide.

And she got to be Secretary of State.

Without Hillary's support on the convention floor, Obama might not even be president today.

Try again, hon.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1512/30/2012

I'm not sure I agree, r13.

I think he'll still be remembered as "helping Obama win a second term." When a story is that big for a politician, left or right, it tends to become part of their narrative imho. Doesn't mean he can't change the narrative or overcome it, but it'll be there nonetheless.

We'll see, I suppose.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1612/30/2012

Lol

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1701/01/2013

Christie unofficially endorsed Obama during the hurricane and that is an unforgivable offense to Republicans. They are a mean, nasty group and they'll never forget something like that. Tim Pawlenty was on Meet the Press this weekend still blaming the hurricane for Romney's loss.

Republicans never forgave Jon Huntsman for accepting an ambassadorship from Obama.

by 2012 Poll Troll, one day the 2016 Poll Troll?reply 1801/01/2013
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