Hillary Clinton vs Chris Christie to see Who is President in 2016?
Only one day removed from President Obama taking his oath of office for the second time, the media is already looking to 2016 to see who could take the White House. This is a very preliminary list, but includes most who are rumored to be thinking about running (read: Hillary). I will also give my opinion on what I think they're odds of winning are and what they would bring to their respective ticket.
The Democrats: Continuing Obama's Legacy
The Democrats have a very important reason for maintaining the White House: They must preserve and extend what Obama has laid out in his (will be) two terms. If a Republican were to win, it's quite possible they would try to undo as much of what Obama has done as is legally possible. If they want to continue the progressive movement in this country, they will have to nominate someone who could carry the legacy of Obama forward and expand upon it.
Hillary Clinton: The Juggernaut
This pick is obvious. In Democratic circles, she is the favorite and people are practically begging her to run. She may be apprehensive because of her failed bid and eventual loss to then Senator Barack Obama. But, she would most likely have the field cleared for her to get the nomination.
The odds: The chance of her winning is great. Almost guaranteed. Even Newt Gingrich admitted the Republicans do not have a candidate in the same league as her. In terms of polling, a recent Washington Post / ABC News poll found that 57% of all Americans would support her candidacy. The percentage of people who view her favorably is currently sitting at 66% and her unfavorable percentage is at 28%. These are amazing numbers for anyone who is eyeing a run for office.
Of course, polling this early is close to meaningless, as they have the potential to change, but seeing as she is stepping down from her Secretary of State roll, it seems unlikely that her unfavorable rating would suddenly rise.
Joe Biden: The Lovable Underdog
Most people in the media are still scoffing at the idea of Joe Biden running for President. They think he is too gaffe-prone to achieve the highest office in the land. But, they underestimate his serious side. He is arguably one of the most powerful Vice Presidents this nation has ever had. He would definitely have to contend with Dick Cheney for that title, but I think a good case can be made.
The odds: America allows him to get away with saying a lot of pretty embarrassing and funny things. But, he has the ultimate strength of coming off as genuine. He has a great connection with working class Americans and in general, he has a very touching personal story. So, people shouldn't underestimate him.
Andrew Cuomo: The Relatively Unknown Threat
While he is the Governor of New York, he doesn't have the name recognition that you would expect out of a future candidate for President. But, he has plenty of time to increase the public's awareness of him. He is the son of Mario Cuomo, who was also Governor of New York at one point. He was also a potential Presidential candidate in his time.
The odds: So, Andrew Cuomo has the family name behind him, but he also needs the support of the Democratic base. If he were to go up against the likes of Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, he would have to convince voters as to why he would be a better choice. I don't see it as very likely if Hillary Clinton runs because most Democrats do not want to oppose her, as she would be the first female President, but is also the most well-known (and most liked) potential candidate.
The Republicans: Taking Back the White House
The Republicans have only won the popular vote in one of the last five elections, so they have a lot to prove. If they want to emerge once again, they will need to win a Presidential election by a good margin. They lost by five million votes in 2012 because of the demographic realities that now favor the Democrats. They will have to find a way to appeal to minority and young voters, otherwise they will be marginalized further in upcoming elections.
Chris Christie: The Moderates Strike Back
The massively popular Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie is seen as a major contender for the Republican nomination for President. He has great appeal with most demographics because of his no-nonsense persona. He is willing to take on his own party and is not afraid to say what he thinks, no matter who it will offend. This is very attractive for voters because they just want honesty out of their elected officials. He's also known for how he compromises and is known as a major force for the more moderate side of the Republican party.
The odds: Quite good, I'd say. He is the Governor of a very liberal state, so he has great appeal with independents and even some Democrats. He has rubbed some establishment Republicans the wrong way, but if he were to get the nomination, it would all be washed away. If he were to run, he might just win New Jersey in the general election, which would shift the electoral map a bit. He is a major threat to any Democrat who would run against him.
Marco Rubio: The Key to Increased Latino Support?
It really is a shame to devolve a conversation around a man to simply the color of his skin, but it is inescapable to note that Marco Rubio might have an advantage with the Latino community. But, there is a larger reason for that and a more substantive one as well. He actually has an immigration reform plan, unlike a lot of Republicans, or if they do, it's highly unpopular (read: Romney's "self-deport" plan).
The odds: He's young, charismatic, and not particularly bad-looking at all. Sadly, that will probably help him. But, he is also a smart and determined man who abides by his convictions, but also doesn't deny science like his older companions. So, he potentially shores up two demographics for the GOP: the young and the Latino communities. This would be a giant step forward for the GOP, but they also must craft their policies to actually benefit the young and Latino communities, otherwise it will just be empty words. But, he is certainly a threat.
Jeb Bush: The Return of the Bush Dynasty?
Jeb Bush is obviously the son of George H. W. Bush and the brother of George W. Bush, who preceded Barack Obama as President. His last name gives him a lot of name recognition, but that's also not a great thing. His brother is a largely unpopular former President and even within Republican circles is not talked about much. But, he was and is very popular in Florida and has been an icon for the more moderate form of the Republican party.
The odds: If he can overcome the stigma that surrounds his last name, he could have a shot. He will have an easier time winning Florida, but he must also shore up other demographics. His wife is a Latina, so that could help sway the Latino vote, but that largely depends on his immigration stance. If he were to get the nomination, I think he would have a good shot, but ultimately, it would be tough to beat Hillary Clinton if she is nominated for the Democrats.
This is by no means a full list of potential candidates for 2016. There's still at least three years before the campaign really gets into gear, so who knows who will be in the spotlight then. But, as it stands now, these six people are highly rumored to be vying for the Presidency in 2016. I'll continually update this post if conditions change and other major candidates pop up.