Ultimately, Clinton’s fate (or any Democratic nominee) will be tied to President Obama and whether voters want a third straight term of a Democratic president. Obama's job approval is under water at 49 percent disapprove and 45 percent approve in the recent ABC News/Washington Post poll and 52 percent disapprove and 45 approve in the recent CNN study. The ABC News/Washington Post poll continues to measure significant economic angst and the CNN poll has a majority of American indicating that they think the country is off on the wrong track.
While there is good news for Democrats in the likely composition of the presidential electorate and how the states line up, these pessimistic assessments are surely of concern to Brooklyn and point to a competitive 2016 contest. There will be lots of candidate and campaign factors on which we will focus over the next 17 months. Still, Hillary Clinton, in particular and Democratic presidential ambitions, in general, are inseparable from assessments of Barack Obama. Ultimately, attitudes about the current president’s performance will matter more than attitudes about a former president’s foundation.