US presidential race: Hillary Clinton leads Democrats, no Republican frontrunner

| Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 15:58
First Published |

US presidential race: Hillary Clinton leads Democrats, no Republican frontrunner

Washington: Despite questions about the Clinton Foundation and her use of private email as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton starts her second presidential bid as a Democratic favourite, while no frontrunner has emerged among the Republicans.

Americans now view the former First Lady more favourably and as a stronger leader than they did earlier in the year, despite weeks of scrutiny about her ethics, a New York Times/CBS News poll has found.

While nearly nine in 10 Democrats say the nation is ready to elect a female president, there is no clear choice among the growing list of candidates for the Republican nomination, the poll found.

More than half the voters don't know enough about Louisiana's Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal, who has been toying with the idea of running, but has not yet thrown his hat into the ring formally.

With 85 percent of Democratic voters considering voting for Clinton - similar to March - she continues to be the top candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.

Vice President Joe Biden (53 percent) is a distant second to Clinton followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (36 percent), although half of Democratic voters don't know enough about Warren to have an opinion.

Most Democratic voters don't know much about Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and last week announced he will run for the Democratic nomination.

But more would consider voting for him (23 percent) than not (16 percent). These views are more positive than they were before Sanders made his announcement.

While far more Democrats would consider voting for Hillary Clinton than any other candidate, 69 percent want to see her run with strong competition from other Democratic candidates.

In general, 78 percent of registered voters think America is ready to elect a woman as president - including majorities of Republicans (61 percent), Democrats (89 percent), and independents (78 percent).

Among the Republicans, Senator Marco Rubio, Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are top contenders with just under half of Republican voters saying they would consider voting for each.

Four in ten would consider voting for Senator Ted Cruz and former Texas governor Rick Perry, and about a third would consider senator Rand Paul, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remains the potential candidate with the largest percentage of Republicans who say they would not consider him.

Carly Fiorina, former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (HP) who recently announced her candidacy, is unknown to about seven in ten Republican voters, as is Governor of Ohio John Kasich.

For twenty of the past twenty six years, a person with the last name Bush or Clinton has been in the White House.

Registered voters overall are more likely to think it would be a bad thing for the country (33 percent) than a good thing (13 percent) if another member of the Bush or Clinton family became the next president, though nearly half (47 percent) say it wouldn't really make much difference.

Most registered voters think these familial connections to the White House would have an impact.

Fifty-five percent of voters think former President George W. Bush would have at least some influence on his brother Jeb Bush if he were to become president.

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