The second year of President Obama’s second term has only just begun, marked by his 2014 State of the Union Address last week. But as I’ve discussed before on this blog, the jockeying to become the 45th President of the United States began the day after the 2012 election. And, in actuality, many Republicans and Democrats made decisions between 2008 and 2012 that began to set them up for potential runs in 2016.
While it is far too early to make any legitimate predictions about 2016, there are some recent developments and recent polls that can give us a big-picture overview of who could be the 45th President of the United States and next leader of the free world. There are also some recent political developments that could impact the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential primary and general elections. I will discuss many of these details more in-depth as 2014 progresses, from gubernatorial races and immigration reform status in Congress to scandals and GOP efforts to claim a majority in the Senate.
For now, though, we look to 2016. One recent development is the Republican Party’s shrewd move to hold their 2016 Convention MUCH earlier than they have been held in the last few presidential election cycles. In order to avoid a long, drawn-out primary in which candidates beat up on each other and the eventual nominee, they are limiting the number of debates and ensuring their presidential ticket is set in stone heading into the dog days of summer. This is wise. Assuming Hillary is the eventual Democratic nominee without much legitimate competition, the GOP needs to rally around the eventual nominee with months to go before the general election. With the GOP having a mostly health internal battle for the future of the party, this early convention and conclusion to the primary is even more important.
So how much of a front-runner is Hillary right now? If not Hillary, then who? In the wide-open and very full GOP race, is anyone a clear front-runner? Two new polls out this week give us clues to answering these questions.