The survey asked likely Democratic voters if the party should “look for a fresh face to run for president in 2016” or if it should “promote a candidate who has already run in the past.” Forty-four percent think the Democratic Party should support a candidate who has already run, while 57 percent disagree or aren’t sure: 36 percent want to see a “fresh face” run and 21 percent are still undecided.
When the same question was asked to likely U.S. voters, a similar majority prevailed. Fifty-four percent think the Democratic Party should have a “fresh” candidate for 2016, while only 22 percent think they should support an established candidate and 23 percent of voters are not sure.
Opinions of prospective 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were also investigated in the survey. A majority of voters polled expressed support for a “new” candidate over an “old” candidate, which indicates lower support for a well-known politician like Clinton.
Although the survey stated that 84 percent of Democrats report having a favorable opinion of Clinton, 56 percent of unaffiliated voters hold the opposite view, with 34 percent expressing a “Very Unfavorable” view of Clinton. Of all unaffiliated voters surveyed, 58 percent were in favor of the Democratic Party supporting a “fresh face” in 2016.
Rasmussen Reports attributes the unexpected drop in support for Clinton in part to “national security concerns” about Clinton’s singular use of private e-mail during her time as secretary of state. The report also refers to voter concerns about significant donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments as another possible culprit for the survey results.
From the data reported in the Rasmussen Reports survey, Hillary Clinton appears to be a polarizing figure among Democrats and Republicans. While this isn’t altogether surprising, the divided consensus among unaffiliated voters as well as the majority of Democrats who favor a new candidate over an established candidate both muddy the widespread predictions for the 2016 presidential race that place Clinton as a frontrunner.
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