Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the 2016 Democratic nomination is not Vice President Joe Biden’s for the taking, and, boy, was she right.
Clinton leads Biden by 51 points in a (very early) poll of the Iowa caucuses, drawing 65 percent support compared to Biden’s 14 percent, according to a new survey conducted Conservative Intel by Harper Polling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., comes in third with four percent support — which might indicate that taking the lead on gun control, as Biden and Cuomo have in recent weeks, doesn’t do much to endear politicians even to Democrats in Iowa.
When asked earlier this week if Biden has “right of first refusal” to the Democratic nomination, Clinton said no. “American politics is always an open competition,” she told NBC’s Andrew Mitchell. “But I have no position on any of this. I have no opinion about it. I’m still Secretary of State. I can’t really engage in politics.”
On the Republican side, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., leads the field with 27 percent support while House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., trails with 18 percent. Rick Santorum enjoys some residual support from his Iowa victory in the Republican primary, with 14 percent.
Rubio’s support at the moment might be an interesting benchmark to keep in mind as he pursues his immigration reform proposals, especially because his lead in this poll is buoyed by a 32-18 lead over Ryan among “very conservative” voters.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is the favorite to win the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, but he might have a tough row to hoe in winning the general election.
“In the race for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s open seat, Congressman Steve King is the favorite in a multi-candidate or two-way Republican primary against Congressman Tom Latham,” writes Harper Polling’s Brock McCleary, a former pollster for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “On the Democratic side, Congressman Bruce Braley will be the Democratic nominee if he wants it. And few doubt that he does. Latham starts out slightly ahead of Braley (36%-33%) while King would begin slightly behind Braley (34%-39%).”