Former Vice President Joe Biden is the front-running Democrat for 2020 according to a new poll of likely Democrat voters conducted by TargetPoint Consulting. The poll shows Clinton tied with Oprah Winfrey for a distant fourth place behind Biden with 29 percent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with 20 percent, and a candidate yet to be named at 16 percent. Clinton and Winfrey both received eight-percent support.
Speculation about a third Clinton presidential run was ignited last week by an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal penned by longtime Clinton advisor Mark Penn and New York politician Andrew Stein, which predicted that Clinton would — again — reinvent herself, this time as a “liberal firebrand” and run on a platform of universal healthcare for all.
“True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies,” the op-ed read. “She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”
Penn and Stein believe that a successful Clinton candidacy in 2020 would hinge on getting good results in the early primaries and caucuses, particularly in Iowa. “She has to decisively win those Iowa Caucus-goers who have never warmed up to her. They will now see her as strong, partisan, left-leaning and all Democrat — the one with the guts, experience and steely-eyed determination to defeat Mr. Trump.”
One question here: Who has ever not seen Clinton as partisan and left-leaning? Besides her shrill voice and pantsuits, those are her defining characteristics.
Another long-time aide, Philippe Reins, also hinted in October that Clinton may be looking to run yet again. “It’s curious why Hillary Clinton’s name isn’t in the mix — either conversationally or in formal polling — as a 2020 candidate,” Reins said.
Clinton herself is giving mixed signals about running. She has repeatedly said she won’t run again but in a recent interview, after again saying she wouldn’t run, she admitted, “I’d like to be president.”
Apparently, megalomania dies hard.
At least one Trump confidante was heartily encouraging a rematch of the 2016 campaign. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who ran Trump’s successful campaign, retweeted Penn and Stein’s speculation and added the comment, “Dear God, please, yes.”
Rounding out the field, according to the poll, are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at seven percent, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker with six percent, and California Senator Kamala Harris with three percent. Porn lawyer Michael Avenatti, New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former Secretary of State John Kerry all received one percent. Receiving less than one percent of support were former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
The poll sampled 1,431 likely Democrat voters from Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
In head-to-head matchups, Clinton lost badly to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders; narrowly to Warren, Winfrey, and Booker. The poll shows she would narrowly defeat Kerry, Harris, and Holder, and she would defeat the rest of the field handily.
The poll also shows that, should Clinton somehow garner the Democrat nomination, the party would revolt if given a third choice, should Sanders mount a third-party independent candidacy.
The poll shows that in a three-way race in a general election between Clinton running as a Democrat, Sanders running as an Independent, and current President Donald Trump, Sanders would win with 45 percent to 39 percent for Clinton. Interestingly, given that this is a Democrat poll, Republican Trump would still receive 10 percent of the vote.
The poll also asked which issues were most important to Democrats moving forward. Topping the list at 34 percent was universal healthcare, with repealing the Second Amendment, running a strong second at 24 percent. Increasing funding for Planned Parenthood came in third at 14 percent, followed by raising taxes at 11 percent, and relaxing immigration laws and abolishing ICE at 10 percent.
As early as all of this speculation is, it is a tantalizing prospect to think of a rematch between Trump and Clinton. Both of them have self-destructive tendencies — especially Clinton. It might be fun to watch.
But ultimately, while it may make Republicans shudder to think that Hillary Clinton could have even a remote shot at being the American president, not even radical Democrats could be insane enough to nominate her again. Could they?
Image of Hillary Clinton: Screenshot of hillaryclinton.com