Hillary Isn’t Even Running For President Yet, & She’s Already Winning

Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images.
Hillary Clinton hasn’t even officially announced that she’s running for president in 2016 — and she’s already winning. In November, Clinton was officially “the most dominant front-runner at this stage of a Presidential contest in the Party’s modern history" and just last week, a new set of polls showed her beating any Republican challenger in three key battleground states. So, should we start preparing for a landslide? Lots can happen between now and November 2016, of course, and Hillary will have her challenges. For a successful run, she’ll have to court the middle and fight off heat from the left at the same time — but we doubt that will faze her much, because, well, nothing else seems to.  Here are four reasons you might want to start planning your historic ‘16 election-night party now — because it very well might turn out to be the first time we’ll see a woman take the proverbial POTUS reins (as we drunkenly storm the streets exclaiming things and waving embarrassing homemade posters). She still has no strong primary challenger: The last time Hillary made a go for President, she was caught in a marathon primary fight, battling Barack Obama all the way until June of 2008 — just months before the election. This time, though, she's returning with a more impressive resume, including her years as a very popular Secretary of State. As of now, she really has no credible Democratic challenger to contend with.  The two obvious choices — VP Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren — have not only said they're not running; it looks like they really mean it. Neither has started to take the fundraising or staffing steps they'd need to mount a real campaign.  She's hugely popular among the young:

A recent Fusion poll surveyed a thousand millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 and found that 55% of them would vote for Hillary over Mitt Romney — who, at the time, was the most talked-about GOP candidate (he's since dropped out). More than half (57%) of the Democrats polled are gunning for Clinton, compared with 10% for Vice President Joe Biden (for his part, Obama says he “loves ‘em both”). Of the Dems surveyed, 10% said they’d opt for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She's trending:

Google Trends shows a growing interest in the former secretary of state. There’s been an uptick of Hillary-centered “interest over time,” indicating that people are searching for her, reading about her, and, arguably, getting “ready for Hillary” (at least, we hope so). She’s rounding up an all-star team: Though Clinton has been criticized for reportedly only hiring white dudes for her 2016 team-in-waiting, the people she's bringing on are powerful additions who are sure to help her formulate a stellar run.  According to leaks, she’s adding: Joel Benenson (a strategist who played a significant role in Barack Obama’s two runs) as her chief strategist and pollster; John Podesta as her campaign chairman (he’s the standing Counselor to the president); Robby Mook as her campaign manager (Mook has managed a number of winning Dem campaigns); and Jim Margolis (a former top advisor to President Obama) as her media adviser.  Clinton still has women in her inner circle, though — ex-aide Huma Abedin is still an advisor, and Cheryl Mills, her former chief of staff at the State Department, is “expected to be involved on some level.” Clinton also has a solid past track record of hiring women and minorities, so it would be surprising if she didn’t bring more of them onboard down the road.

More from Politics

R29 Original Series