Bad news for both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush—that’s a key takeaway from a new national opinion poll.
The American people overwhelmingly support a strict voter ID system. Americans are deeply skeptical of the Middle East “peace” process pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration. And Americans overwhelmingly support an ambitious national program to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
These and other findings are from a survey of 806 actual voters taken on Election Day, November 4, by the Polling Company. The questions were chosen by Breitbart News, as well as Judicial Watch.
Since many believe that the 2016 presidential contest started as soon as the 2014 elections were over, we can take a closer look at the public’s assessment of two of the biggest names who are thinking about running for the White House: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush.
Starting with Hillary, we find that 44 percent of Americans are “very” or “somewhat” likely to support her for president in 2016, compared to 50 percent who were very or somewhat likely to oppose her. In other words, her support deficit is minus six—not a particularly good result for the supposed frontrunner.
The truth is, Hillary’s popularity pales next to her husband’s. When asked, “Which is your favorite Clinton?” 37 percent of Americans chose Bill, while just 16 percent chose Hillary. We might note that 10 percent answered “both,” and 34 percent said “neither.”
Another question put Hillary’s weakness into stark relief—as well as the weakness of the Democratic Party as it seeks a third consecutive presidential victory in 2016. The question: “Would you vote for a candidate that will mostly continue to follow or carry out President Obama’s policies, or mostly go in a new and different direction?” Sixty-seven percent of those polled answered that they wanted “new and different,” while just 24 percent answered to carry on with Obama.
So we can see that any Democrat who runs in ’16 will face a daunting challenge: How to be a fresh face, and offer new ideas, even as Barack Obama sits in the White House? We might note that only once since the 1940s has a party managed to win a third consecutive term; that was George H. W. Bush in 1988, running as the anointed successor to the highly popular Ronald Reagan.
Yet in 2014, the news isn’t so good for another Bush—Jeb Bush: When the Republican subset in the poll was asked if it would prefer “a new generation of Republican leaders,” or Jeb Bush, the GOP voters chose “new generation” over Jeb by a 68:13 margin—a rejection ratio for Jeb of more than five to one.
One issue that could be pulling Bush down is immigration. According to the poll, 58 percent of Americans support continued enforcement of existing immigration law, while just 32 percent want to see it changed. So that would seem to be bad news for Jeb and other supporters of a “Gang of Eight”-type “comprehensive immigration reform.” (It’s interesting to note that Americans also oppose efforts to change gun laws by about the same ratio: 55 percent support better enforcement of current gun laws, while just 28 percent support new gun-control laws.)
Returning to immigration, the poll shows that public sentiment is at odds with the general tendency of the DC-based elite to support globalism and open borders. The data shows that on the specific issue of legal immigration, 80 percent of Americans support the same amount or less, while just 11 percent support more legal immigration.
Meanwhile, opposition to a possible presidential effort to unilaterally change the immigration system is even more pronounced: A full 72 percent of Americans oppose an executive order on amnesty, and just 23 percent support it—a ratio of more than 3:1.
Finally, on the issue of immigration from Ebola-ridden countries, a full 64 percent of Americans disagreed with the Obama administration policy of issuing visas to visitors from afflicted countries in West Africa.
Other Obama policies, too, were rejected: Americans, for example, don’t agree with Secretary of State Kerry when he says that “climate change” is the most serious issue facing the country.
In addition, when asked to choose between the Obama administration’s position on the Middle East “peace process” (namely, that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must continue) and the Israeli position (that there’s no point in having negotiations unless and until the Palestinians demonstrate themselves to be a true “partner for peace”), the voters prefer the Israeli position over the Obama position by a 20-point margin.
So now we can start to see the outlines of a successful 2016 Republican presidential campaign: Not only would the GOP oppose the general idea of a “third term” for a liberal Obama-type Democrat, but it would also oppose specific Obama policies—on immigration, guns, and the Middle East. In each case, as we have seen, those specific points of opposition enjoy widespread public support.
And here’s another potentially winning GOP issue: corruption in government. No less than 65 percent of those surveyed said that governmental corruption is a “very serious” problem. In other words, Congressional investigations on such as issues as Benghazi, the IRS, and the VA health system have made a deep impression on the public.
Speaking of corruption, 74 percent of Americans hold the opinion that voter fraud is a problem, either “major” or “minor”; just 22 percent thought it not a problem at all. And in various questions, two-thirds to three-fourths of Americans endorsed photo-ID requirements for voting.
Finally, Americans were asked about Alzheimer’s Disease, the dreaded scourge of older Americans that costs the country more than $200 billion a year. The specific question was, “Do you agree or disagree that we need a massive effort to find a vaccine or cure for Alzheimer’s, as we had for polio back in the 1940s and 1950s?” A whopping 82 percent of Americans agreed, while just 12 percent disagreed. That’s a nearly 7:1 margin; in the world of public-opinion polling, not too many issues enjoy such massive support. In other words, Alzheimer’s is a potentially huge issue; even if, at present, few leaders are rallying for a cure.
Meanwhile, as the Obama administration seeks another $6.2 billion for Ebola relief, Republicans might ask if there isn’t more to be done to cure diseases closer to home.
Today, as Republicans are slated to take control of the Senate as well as expand their majority inthe House next year, they might take a closer look at the issues-mix for the upcoming 114th Congress.
As we have seen, the GOP can score deep inroads on such “reactive” issues as opposing Obama policies on the border and in the Middle East.
Yet in addition, Republicans can gain by embracing such “proactive” policies as exposing corruption and seeking a cure for a dreaded disease that potentially afflicts all Americans.