Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to loom as the odds-on favorite to capture the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but don’t tell that to her party’s liberal wing.
As the “Ready for Hillary” movement begins to morph into a formidable campaign operation, Clinton’s numerous liberal detractors continue to pine for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an icon of the progressive movement, to reconsider her decision not to challenge Clinton for the nomination.
Democracy for America (DFA), a progressive group that grew out of former Vermont governor Howard Dean’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, just released an unscientific survey of their roughly one million members asking for their preferences in a hypothetical race for the Democratic nomination in two years.
Warren, the former Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate was the clear favorite, garnering 42 percent of the respondents, while Clinton trailed a distant third with only 23 percent, according to MSNBC. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who is exploring a possible bid for the nomination, finished second with 24 percent, according to the survey.
Vice President Joe Biden, who has encouraged speculation that he might seek the nomination himself, is favored by just two percent of the liberal Democrats surveyed, while former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia – who just announced the formation of an exploratory committee -- received less than 1 percent of the vote.
“If you only listened to Washington pundits, you’d wonder why Democrats are even bothering holding primaries and caucuses, but the results from our first 2016 presidential pulse poll indicates that progressives want to hear from many candidates during the nomination process and that the fight for the support of Democrats’ grassroots base is far from over,” Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement.
Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have long had a tenuous relationship with their party’s left wing as they pushed a more centrist agenda on economic and social issues. As a U.S. senator from New York, Hillary Clinton sought to build a bipartisan coalition that frequently tested her relations with liberals.
Her vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002 in the wake of the 9-11 attacks on the U.S. infuriated many liberals who opposed the war policies of Republican President George W. Bush. Critics also fret about her relations with wealthy Wall Street financiers and the millions of dollars of speaking fees that she and her husband have raked in.
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