A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll reveals an opening for opponents of Hillary Clinton in 2016: 51 percent of respondents see Clinton more as a return to the past than a candidate for the future. Forty-four percent say the opposite. Combined with the poll’s finding that 59 percent of respondents prefer a presidential candidate “who will bring greater changes” over one who is “more experienced and tested,” and the message is clear: Clinton’s age and history work against her; the country wants a fresh face.
Clinton has an overwhelming lead in her party; 86 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they support her candidacy, although her numbers show 44 percent of respondents with a positive view of her and 36 percent with negative views of her.
There is a wide-open race for the GOP nomination; over half of GOP primary voters would support either Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Forty-nine percent said they would support former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush had a higher percentage of unfavorable respondents, 34 percent, than favorable, at 23 percent. Forty-two percent of GOP primary voters said they wouldn’t vote for him at all, while 26 percent said the same of Rubio, and 17 percent of Walker. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is clearly a long shot, as 57 percent of likely GOP primary voters wouldn’t support him if he ran.
Bush has the same problem as Clinton: 60 percent of respondents view him as someone representing the past, while only 27 percent think he would bring “new ideas and vision the country will need for the future.”
The GOP seemingly must make the middle class more comfortable with them; 47 percent of respondents believe that the GOP doesn’t represent the values of the middle class “very well,” while 33 percent said the same of Democrats.
The GOP may be able to appeal to the nation’s fear of Islamic State: 55 percent of respondents would prefer a candidate who would use combat troops to fight the group, a position contrary to Barack Obama’s reluctance to use ground troops.