The 2016 presidential primaries are shaping up, and thus far former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and "Democratic Socialist" Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the only two Democrats to officially declare their candidacy. The Republican field is much more diverse, with politicians like former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina joining Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in the race. There are several other people — like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Pennsylania Senator Rick Santorum, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — expected to add their names to that list in the coming weeks. On the Democratic side, Vice President Joe Biden, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb have all expressed interest in running but have yet to officially begin their campaigns.
Sanders is a self-described European-style socialist, with social and economic views that stray far from the norm of the Democratic Party. Clinton is well known amongst voters and politicians alike, with a long and well-documented history both in Washington and in state office. There’s always the chance that Sanders could rally populist support or another candidate could emerge with a come-from-behind, Obama-like victory in the primaries, but as of now Clinton seems poised to be the Democratic candidate in 2016.
Although the Democratic Party and the media have both all but granted Clinton a shot at the White House, it’s still unclear whether that’s truly what the general public wants. Regardless, it’s what the majority of people expect to happen. We created a survey in order to gauge how people feel about the issue, posing the question, “Do you think Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 Democratic White House nomination?” While the majority said “Yes,” the margins were slim. Just 36.8 percent responded yes, compared to 34.9 percent who said no. Almost just as close was the category of respondents who answered “I prefer not to say,” at 28.3 percent.
There were a couple key insights from the data that we collected. At 43.1 percent compared to 29.1 percent, men chose “yes” more than women. That pushes men above the overall average, with women much less confident about Clinton’s ability to secure the nomination. It’s too difficult to pull any further meaning about gender issues from these statistics, but it is interesting to consider that Clinton has the chance of becoming the first female president. Women seem to have less confidence that that will become a reality. There’s also the chance that Fiorina will win the Republican nomination, but that seems unlikely. Fiorina herself has claimed she wanted to enter the race to serve as the GOP counterpart-of-sorts to Clinton, saying, “If Hillary Clinton faces a woman opponent, she will get a hitch in her swing.”
Our survey also found that there were major differences in the ways people responded based on the areas in which they live. At 42.8 percent, suburban residents were much more likely to respond "no" than urban residents (at 24.7 percent). Rural respondents took that statistic even further, with 45.7 percent answering "no." As seen below, the results were generally the same based on broad geographical region.
This survey shows that, despite the way in which Clinton is commonly discussed as the presumed nominee, voters are not sure whether that will become a reality. The majority of people think that Clinton will win the presidential nomination, but the amount of people that think she won’t or prefer not to answer makes it too close to call. If anything, this should prove that people want a true primary race in the Democratic Party, not just the assumed appointment of our next president.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Photo Credit: WikiCommons