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2016 Poll: Hillary Clinton lapping potential Democratic field

5:49 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
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(CNN) - Do you need more evidence that Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run for the White House again, would be the overwhelming front-runner among Democrats for their party's 2016 presidential nomination?

If so, then a new national poll provides the proof.

The survey, released Tuesday from Fairleigh Dickinson University, indicates Clinton more than lapping the field of other possible Democratic White House hopefuls.

According to the poll, 63% of self-identified Democrats and those who lean towards the Democratic Party say they'd support Clinton as their presidential nominee. Twelve percent say they'd back Vice President Joe Biden, with 3% supporting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 12% backing someone else and one in ten unsure.

The survey is in-line with just about every other poll conducted the over past five months on the battle for the Democratic nomination, from a WMUR/Granite State survey of New Hampshire Democrats that came out over the weekend to our own CNN/ORC national poll from last December.

It should be noted that polls conducted this early in a presidential cycle are heavily influenced by name recognition. And Clinton, the former first lady, senator from New York State, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state, has plenty of name recognition.

Even though the next race for the White House is a long way away, there's already intense speculation over whether Clinton will make a second bid for president.

When asked just before she stepped down as secretary of state whether she was thinking of making another run for the White House, Clinton said "I am not thinking about anything like that right now."

And in an interview with CNN later that day, when asked if she's decided against another candidacy for president, Clinton responded that "I have absolutely no plans to run."

But she added that "I am lucky because I've been very healthy. I feel great. I've got enormous amounts of energy that have to be harnessed and focused, so I'm very fortunate. I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life, whatever it is."

While the race for the Democratic nomination is basically frozen until Clinton makes a decision, the hunt for the Republican nomination remains wide open. The new poll, as with past surveys, indicates that there's no front runner on the GOP side.

Eighteen percent of self-identified Republicans or those who lean towards the GOP say they support Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, with 16% backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 14% supporting New Jersey Gov. Christie. Nine percent back former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate who battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary calendar, with 21% preferring someone else and one in five unsure.

"Republican uncertainty mirrors the identity crisis the party is facing as it redefines its message in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential loss. Republican voters seem to be saying they remain on the lookout for their party's Mr. or Mrs. Right," says Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of FDU's PublicMind.

The Fairleigh Dickinson poll was conducted April 22-28, with 863 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

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