A new poll suggests that if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, her biggest primary threat could come from a more conservative member of her own party.
The CNN/ORC International survey found that the majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters – 70% – would back the former secretary of state should she jump in the race. Previous polls have indicated a similar outcome.
The surprising figure is the 15% of voters who would be more likely to back a more conservative Democrat; 10% said they’d rather support a more liberal candidate. This goes against conventional wisdom that Clinton would be vulnerable to candidates who are more liberal than she is.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said: “The poll suggests that a majority of the anybody-but-Clinton Democrats are actually looking for a candidate who is more conservative than she is, not more liberal. Some progressive leaders have been trying to entice someone into the race to run to the left of Clinton, but maybe rank and file Democrats would respond more favorably to a candidate who runs to the right of her, at least within the confines of standard Democratic Party ideology.”
Meanwhile, a recent NBC News/Marist poll shows Clinton’s lead widening over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is embroiled in recent allegations that his office abused its power. In a hypothetical matchup, 50% said they’d vote for Clinton, while just 37% said they’d back the Christie, a Republican. When those surveyed were asked the same question in December, Clinton led Christie by just 3 percentage points.