The 2016 presidential campaign is nearing, but voters aren’t all that into it yet. Fifty-eight percent of registered voters say they’ve given at least some thought to who they’ll vote for in 2016, according to a Pew Research poll released Thursday. That’s 10 percent less than at a similar point before the 2008 contest, the last time both parties had contested nominations.
On the Democratic side, presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters say there’s a “good chance” they’d support her. Her closest competitors, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, stand at 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
The Republican field lacks a comparable front-runner. Twenty-three percent of voters say they could support Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker; 22 percent say the same of Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz; 21 percent say so of Rand Paul and Ben Carson.
Some pundits and politicians from each party have expressed opposition to a potential Clinton-Bush showdown because of each family’s deep political roots and prior experience in the White House. But that possibility does not appear to irk many voters in either party’s camp, the poll found. Three-quarters of GOP voters are not bothered by the Bush family’s role in the party and 88 percent of Democratic voters say they feel similarly about the Clintons.
Voters’ relative lack of interest this cycle may be explained, at least in part, by the low number of candidates who have formally declared presidential bids. Only one expected candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has officially announced his 2016 campaign. By contrast, in March 2007, all of the top contenders from both parties had announced their candidacies.
Hillary Clinton is soon expected to formally unveil her bid for the White House. The not-yet-official campaign has already chosen Brooklyn Heights to host its headquarters, Politico reported Friday.