Will Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush be battling it out in the 2016 presidential race? That remains an elusive question at the heart of the United States political landscape as politicians and voters look ahead to the 2016 election prospects. Recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics show Clinton winning 67 percent of the vote in Democratic primaries, with no other potential candidate above 11 percent. General election polling shows Clinton with a considerable average lead over her various possible Republican nominees with a 12 percent margin over her closest potential rival. However, the Republican race does not yet possess a clear front-runner, but there has been much speculation about a potential showdown between the political dynasties of Clinton versus Bush in 2016.
According to a Fox News poll released Wednesday, the three top GOP candidates that have captured double-digit support among self-identified Republicans are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 15 percent, which puts him just ahead of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul which are both at 14 percent. Meanwhile, former Sec. of State Clinton continues to hold a huge lead among Democrats with less than two years until the Iowa caucuses, which will help determine the primary contenders for the major party presidential nominees.
Whether or not Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will be battling it out in the 2016 presidential race could depend on many factors. Namely, whether Clinton actually decides to run again after her previous presidential bid and near nomination in 2008, which ultimately went to rival and current President Barack Obama. However, Clinton was promptly appointed to Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of State following his election. Bush also has his own ghosts to shake as he is considered for higher office in the shadow of his father and brother, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively. Sources close to Bush have said he has not formally begun to consider a presidential bid but plans to decide no later than early 2015. He chose not to run in 2012.
Neither Clinton nor Bush has yet officially declared a presidential bid for 2016, and neither is expected to announce a decision until the end of 2014 at the earliest. However, if the Republican and Democratic establishments have their way, the 2016 general election could pit the Clinton, who is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, and the Bush political dynasties against each other in an epic display of partisan gamesmanship for the White House in 2016.
Both Bush and Clinton are substantive leaders with long histories of public service to their names. Bush was a two-term governor of Florida, while Clinton excelled as a senator from New York and a secretary of state. They both have centrist views on many policy issues, and have exhibited the potential to appeal broadly to the nation’s diversifying electorate. As both potential candidates consider possible bids, Clinton has proven to be in a stronger position. She is the Democrats’ overwhelming favorite and major party donors are funding an array of super PACs to increase her exposure and encourage Clinton to run. Additionally, according to a Washington Post poll in January, Clinton decimated her potential primary rivals with nearly 75 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents firmly in her corner. Vice President Biden ran second in the poll with a mere 12 percent. Meanwhile, Bush would face a much tougher battle competing for attention and support with at least half a dozen other prospective candidates, including Gov. Christie, Sen. Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Whether or not Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will be battling it out in the 2016 presidential race remains to be seen. There has been much speculation that both potential candidates will take several factors into consideration before deciding whether to enter into a presidential bid. Beyond the politics involved, both Clinton and Bush would contemplate whether the move feels right, the potential impact on the future, the momentum behind them, and the impact on their families. Those are very tangible and weighty considerations for Clinton and Bush, both of whom have weathered previous political campaigns and experienced the gravitas involved.
Opinion By Leigh Haugh
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