PPP: Clinton, Rubio have early, early leads looking ahead to 2016

It’s a month past Election Day 2012, and Barack Obama is still more than a month away from beginning his second term. Keep that in mind as you consider the latest from Public Policy Polling, which is a very, very, very early look ahead to the 2016 presidential race.

That very, very, very early look has Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio as the very, very, very early frontrunners.

For Clinton, it’s a case of deja vu. The one-time presumptive 2008 Democratic frontrunner was at 61 percent in the PPP poll released on Thursday. Coming in a distant second in the polling was Vice President Joe Biden at 12 percent.

Andrew Cuomo was at 5 percent, Elizabeth Warren was at 4 percent, and in the 1-2 percent realm were Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

PPP also tested the field in the event that neither Clinton nor Biden would run. In that case, Cuomo, the New York governor, would be the frontrunner, at 21 percent, to 16 percent for Warren, the senator-elect from Massachusetts.

On the GOP side, things are a bit murkier, understandably, given that Democrats have swept the past two presidential elections. Rubio, the Florida senator, is the early choice of 18 percent of Republican voters, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 14 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 2012 vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan both at 12 percent, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 11 percent.

Coming in further down the list were former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at 8 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 7 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 4 percent.

More online: www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/12/looking-ahead-to-2016.html.

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