The calendar may read 2013, but politicians from both major parties are already gearing up for the next election: No, not 2014 – 2016. Last week saw visits to key primary states from Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and others. Although no candidate is close to declaring his or her intention to run for the presidency yet, these leaders are laying groundwork that would be vital to such a run. There’s also new polling that sheds light on potential Democratic candidates for president and other issues.
Hillary Clinton – Winner – Joe Biden may have been the one hitting the campaign trail, but it is former First Lady Hillary Clinton who is currently the favorite choice for Democratic voters for heading their ticket in 2016. In a new Quinnipiac survey, Hillary Clinton was the first choice of 65% of respondents. Vice President Biden came in second with 13%, but was the first choice of most voters (45%) when given a list of candidates without Clinton as an option.
Sarah Palin – Winner – Wearing a shirt that read “Women Hunt,” Palin wowed the crowd at an NRA meeting last week, ripping the crowd up to a near-frenzy at times. She not only came out against President Obama and gun control advocates, but she also lambasted NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his quest to ban to the public display of tobacco products.
Steve King – Loser – The Republican from Iowa announced on May 3rd that he will not run for the U.S. Senate, preferring instead to focus on House legislation. With Tom Harkin announcing that he will not seek re-election, the state GOP will not be facing an incumbent opponent, which should help their chances.
Tom Corbett – Loser – The Republican Governor of Pennsylvania is not only losing to his potential Democratic challengers, he’s in fourth place. According to Quinnipiac, the Governor would lose to any of three potential challengers from the left by at least nine points. Currently, voters of the Keystone State disapprove of his job performance while in office by 47-38%.
The Democratic Party – Winners – Those on the left side of the aisle were up in a new poll released May 1st, measuring the public’s views toward the 2014 Congressional elections. The survey, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found the Democrats are currently favored over Republicans 41-37%, with a 4% margin of error if the election were held now.
Roughly 18 months remain until the 2014 election, and 42 months until the next presidential match-up. There’s lots of time for potential candidates to go up, down and drop in and out of contention many times before then.
Many people complain about how long elections run. But, a large political campaign is like an iceberg – you only see a tiny bit of what is there. And campaigns run much longer than most people realize – parties are likely already planning for 2020 and 2024. President Chelsea – It has a nice ring to it.
(U.S. State Department photo)