Possible Democratic presidential contenders in 2016 most notably include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. If they decide to declare their candidacies, it would prove to be a most intriguing match-up. However, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Wednesday, it appears that Clinton may have an overall advantage with winning over the public.
Courtesy of the chart provided by ABC, Clinton’s figures show a favorable-unfavorable spread of 67%-26%, with 6% having no opinion. For Biden however, his favorable-unfavorable numbers are 48%-37%, with 15% having no opinion. There are several reasons for this.
Although Biden is next in line to the presidency, Clinton has more stature, and is typically perceived as a more serious figure. Clinton has been active in the media for her efforts in Washington to address the September 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and more recently the Algerian hostage crisis. She is also the most well-traveled secretary of state in history, and has presided over a mending of relationships overseas.
While Clinton’s powerful diplomatic efforts in Washington and abroad have made her as a viable candidate for 2016, this is not the case with Biden. The vice president has been known to have a way with words, and has had numerous rhetorical gaffes in his long political career. The Onion's parodies of Biden have likely not helped his cause — at least among millennials.
Clinton is arguably one of the most powerful women in Washington today, which may allow her to secure the valuable female demographic at the polls. If Clinton were to formally declare her candidacy for president, she may have some powerful supporters. Her husband and former president Bill Clinton, as well as Obama may give her the leverage she needs to win the White House.
Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich remarked on a possible Clinton 2016 ticket. He stated that the GOP will have a difficult time challenging her powerful credentials.
"First of all, she's very formidable as a person," he said. "She's a very competent person. She's married to the most popular Democrat in the country; they both think [it] would be good for her to be president. It makes it virtually impossible to stop her for the nomination.”
While Hillary appears to have a strong advantage over Biden, age may be a factor that will hinder both candidates. In 2016, Clinton will be 69 years old and Biden will be approaching his 74th birthday. Experience is valued in politics. However, it can also be a curse. Another young Democrat may have an advantage solely by presenting a clean slate.