Washington (CNN, June 15, 2014) – Most Democrats say they’d support Hillary Clinton if she wins their party’s nomination, but a new national survey indicates only a minority are excited about that prospect.
The CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday also indicates the race for the GOP nomination remains a wide open contest with no obvious frontrunner among the potential Republican White House hopefuls.
According to the survey, 63% of Democrats and independents who lean toward the party said they’d most likely support Clinton as the nominee.
That’s virtually unchanged from CNN’s May poll, but down from the seven in 10 Democrats who in February said that they’d back the former secretary of state, senator and first lady.
Clinton has been the overwhelming frontrunner for the nomination in just about every national and state poll conducted over the past 18 months.
Twenty-percent of those questioned said they’d support a more conservative Democrat for the nomination, with 11% saying they’d back a more liberal candidate.
“Clinton remains the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but there are signs that rank-and-file Democrats may be willing to consider other candidates,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Forty-one percent of Democrats questioned said they’d be enthusiastic if Clinton wins the nomination, with 42% saying they’d be satisfied. One in 10 said they’d be dissatisfied, and 5% said they’d be upset.
“There are big differences between liberal and moderate Democrats that indicate that a primary challenger who runs to the right of Clinton may get more traction than a progressive challenger would,” adds Holland.
“Fifty percent of liberal Democrats say they would be enthusiastic about Clinton winning the nomination, but only 36% of moderate Democrats feel the same way.
“Nearly three-quarters of liberals pick Clinton over her hypothetical opponents. Among moderate Democrats, that figure dropped to 58%,” he added.
The poll’s release comes nearly a week into Clinton’s book tour for her much anticipated memoir, “Hard Choices.”
In an interview leading up to the book tour, Clinton said she would announce her decision regarding a second White House run sometime early next year.
GOP nomination hunt wide open
Just as almost every public opinion poll has pointed to Clinton as the prohibitive frontrunner, the same surveys suggest that the GOP nomination is a free-for-all among the potential contenders.
According to the CNN survey, 14% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP said they’d likely back Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, with 12% likely to support former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, stands at 11%. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, has 10% support.
Nine percent of Republicans questioned said they’d likely support Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 8%.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was unsuccessful in his 2012 bid for the nomination, is at 6%, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pulls in 5%. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, gets 4%.
Taking into account the poll’s sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, the GOP nomination hunt is up for grabs among the potential contenders.
The survey was conducted for CNN by ORC International May 29-June 1, with 1,003 adults nationwide, including 481 Democrats and independents who lean towards the party, and 452 Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP, questioned by telephone.