2016 Elections: What Do Voters Want?
A recent NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll suggested that voters don’t want to see the continuation of a political dynasty in 2016, meaning they’re not interested in former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) as the next president. If that’s true, why are these two politicians doing so well in the 2016 polls?
Clinton winning in the polls, Bush doing well
The poll shows that 59% of voters want a “change” candidate over an experienced and tested one. This is up from 55% in July 2008 when now-President Barack Obama was campaigning on the ideas of “hope and change.” More specific to the candidates, 60% of voters said Bush, brother of President George W. Bush and son of President George H.W. Bush, would represent a return to policies of the past, and 51% thought the same about Clinton, who is the spouse of former President Bill Clinton.
Bush has recently lost his edge in the the RealClearPolitics poll for potential 2016 Republican nominee to Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.). But Bush still maintains 15.8% of the interest to Walker’s 16.2%. And he NBC-WSJ poll found that 49% of potential Republican primary voters would support Bush for the nomination, while 56% would back Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and 53% would back Walker. So Bush isn’t leading, but he’s in contention, and the Republican field is still pretty wide open.
Meanwhile, Clinton has been the frontrunner for a Democratic nomination for years, it seems. According to the NBC-WSJ poll, 86% of Democrats could support Clinton for their party’s presidential nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has said she isn’t running, follows Clinton at 34%, while Biden comes in at 14%.
“Clinton’s numbers are just extraordinary from a starting point in a primary,” GOP pollster Bill McInturff said to NBC. “A number in the mid-80s is stunning.”
So do voters really want a change?
Clealy, they’re still leaning toward the two candidates who they’ve said represent more of the same. Since we’re still in the early stages of the 2016 elections (Clinton has still not said she’s running), will their pasts (and their families) come back to haunt them when we get into the thick of campaigning?
“Their challenge and their chore is different than either Bush in 2000 or Clinton in ’92,” said Peter D. Hart, the Democratic pollster who helped conduct the NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, according to NPR. “Each of them was trying to establish. These Bush and Clintons have the opposite challenge — they have the credentials, but do they have the change?”