Doug Schoen: Hillary Has Lock on 2016 Among Democrats

Sunday, 12 May 2013 05:00 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Democratic pollster and author Doug Schoen tells Newsmax TV that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can clinch her party’s presidential nomination — if she wants it.

He dismissed a potential challenge from Vice President Joe Biden.

“Well, she’ll get the nomination if she seeks it,” asserted Schoen in an exclusive interview this week. “I’m not sure Biden would run. She leads the Democratic preference polls by something like 60:7 over Biden. So I don’t think that the incumbent vice president has much — if any, chance.”

Story continues below.

Schoen, whose most recent book is called “Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond," said that the field is much more wide open on the Republican side.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is one of the Gang of 8 working on immigration reform, would be well positioned for a White House run if he is successful, according to Schoen.

“Well, if there is immigration reform and it gets passed, it will undeniably be a benefit to him in the Republican primary,” observed Schoen. “He’s a very narrow frontrunner in the polls that I’ve seen and passage of this legislation will only help him.”

He believes that Republicans must embrace immigration reform if they are serious at retaking the White House in 2016.

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and unless they can prove more adept than they’ve been at winning Hispanic votes, they will suffer — and suffer grievously,” said Schoen. “So, from where I sit, the Republicans have to get behind in some form immigration reform. The cost — obviously a central issue — but not a dispositive one.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also a strong contender, particularly now that he has undergone weight-loss surgery.

Schoen believes the surgery will make a difference in the minds of voters.

“There are two questions, really: One, the issue of control, self-control. And, second the issue of health,” Schoen explained. “He’s had asthma attacks that have — at least temporarily — disabled him and one of the real questions is is he fit? Is he able to go through a campaign and to govern? And I hope that the surgery was successful and I hope that the answer to those questions is yes.”

Schoen added that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also on the shortlist of potential Republican hopefuls.

“I am a big fan of Bush,” said Schoen. “He is a terrific guy, very successful governor, somebody who can forge bipartisan consensus, and it would only be to the good if Jeb Bush ran. And he’d be an excellent president.”

Schoen’s list of potential Republican contenders also includes Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Schoen noted that President Obama’s popularity among voters has fallen since the election. He pointed to a New York Times poll which gave the president 41 percent approval on gun control, and 44 percent on immigration.

“It’s pretty clear that less than a majority approve of the president’s performance,” said Schoen.

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