The Telegraph
Thursday , February 27 , 2014
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Democrats ‘eager’ for Hillary run

- Ex-secretary of state has ‘highest level of interest’

Feb. 26: More than 8 in 10 Democrats say they want Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for President in 2016, showing a level of interest in her that no other potential candidates — Democrat or Republican — come close to matching among their party’s voters, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll.

The potential candidates drawing the most interest after Clinton are Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. For each of them, about 40 per cent of self-identified members of their party said they hoped the person would run.

As for Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey — the man who many had once thought to be an early Republican favourite, but who is struggling with the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal — more in his party say they do not want him to seek the presidency (41 per cent) than say they do (31 per cent).

The election, of course, is far off. But the level of enthusiasm among voters for candidates in their own party still matters, as those potential candidates are already deciding whether to run and beginning to plan campaign and fund-raising strategies.

While Democrats appear overwhelmingly eager for a Clinton candidacy, the poll suggests that the Republican field, at least at this early stage, is far more muddled, with no potential candidate garnering majority enthusiasm for a presidential run.

Thirty-two per cent of Republicans say they want Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to run, although Rubio also seems to have fewer detractors than Bush or Paul (more do not know enough about him to say). Only 15 per cent of Republicans said they did not want Rubio to run, compared with 21 per cent for Paul and 27 per cent for Bush.

Twenty-four per cent said they hoped Senator Ted Cruz of Texas would run, compared with 15 per cent who said they did not want him to. Fifty-nine per cent do not know enough about Cruz to say.

The poll did not ask about several other potential Republican candidates, including Governor John Kasich of Ohio, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. No major candidates in either party have yet declared their candidacy, but several have taken steps.