Because the 2012 race, on its own, doesn't provide enough fodder for speculation, the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling takes a look at the 2016 caucuses on both sides:
Clinton tops Vice President Joe Biden 60-18, with no one else even approaching 5%. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren each have 3%, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner are at 1%, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick register almost no support. 14% favor someone else or are not sure.
The victors of the two most recent Republican caucuses, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, are tied at 17%, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie right on their tails at 16%, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 11%, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 10%, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 8%, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan at 6%, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin each at 4%, with only 8% not behind a candidate.
If Clinton did not run, Biden would lead Cuomo 36-14, with Warren at 8% and the others still in the low single digits. Without Biden, Cuomo leads Warren 20-11.
So the bottom line, for whatever it's worth, is that absent a Clinton candidacy you've got a wide-open race on both sides. The Palin fade -- from national conservative superstar to sub-5-percenter in Iowa -- is a remarkable side note.
Monday, July 23, 2012