Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting on Sept. 25, 2013 in New York, N.Y.
Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty

Democratic voters overwhelmingly predict Clinton will win nomination


More than two-thirds of Democratic voters say former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will clinch the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, according to the latest NBC News Online Survey conducted by SurveyMonkey. On the Republican side – where up to a dozen candidates are mulling a bid – there is much less consensus around a clear victor. 

The 2016 presidential race is finally getting its first official candidates. On the Republican side, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul jumped into the race on Tuesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy two weeks ago, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to announce on Monday. On the Democratic side, Clinton is expected to officially announce Sunday what everyone has expected for a long time.

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Volatility in polling this far ahead of the actual primaries and caucuses is to be expected, particularly among Republican candidates. Levels of support will likely bounce around as the candidates start to become better known by the American people. Clinton, for example, already enjoys high name recognition from her eight years in the White House as first lady, her previous presidential campaign and her role as America’s top diplomat in President Obama’s administration.

In addition to asking the traditional vote question, the NBC News Online Survey conducted by SurveyMonkey asked Americans whom they expected would win their party’s nomination. Voters who identified as Democratic or lean toward the Democratic Party are much more unified. Sixty-eight percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said they expected Clinton to win the party’s nomination, and 50% of those voters said they would cast a ballot for Clinton. Other Democrats weighing a White House trailed Clinton in the poll. Sixteen percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said they would vote for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren – a popular politician among progressives – but only 1% of those voters said they expected her to win the nomination. Seven percent of Democratic voters said they would vote for Vice President Joe Biden, and 5% of those voters said they expected he will win.

On the GOP side, Jeb Bush emerges as the expected leader, with 24% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters saying they expect him to win the nomination and 37% saying they don’t know who will win. Twenty-one percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said they wouldn’t vote for any of the potential 2016 GOP candidates listed or don’t know who they will vote for. The Republican presidential field is much more crowded than the Democratic side, with mix of senators and governors thinking about running.

Scott Walker and Jeb Bush head up the lengthy list of Republican primary contenders, with Walker getting 13% support and Bush getting 12% among Republican and Republican-leaning voters. But their levels of support are not significantly different from the names that follow.

The NBC News-SurveyMonkey Poll was conducted online April 6-8, 2015 among a national sample of 2,052 adults aged 18 and over. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in the SurveyMonkey Audience panel. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points. A full description of our methodology can be found here. The survey was produced by the Analytics Unit of NBC News in conjunction with Penn’s Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies with data collection and tabulation conducted by SurveyMonkey. Analysis by the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies.

David Taintor contributed to this article.