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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks to a breakfast with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore November 17, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Rourke/Pool
2016 is hers if she wants it.
Who needs to wait until 2024 for Texas to be competitive?
The results are within the margin of error, but Clinton leads Marco Rubio 46% to 45%, Chris Christie 45% to 43% and Rick Perry 50% to 42%. She has a +7 favorability rating (50/43) with Texas voters and strong support among moderate voters—72% view her favorably, and she crushes her potential GOP opponents among this voting group.

“If Clinton is the 2016 nominee, she could conceivably expand the electoral map for Democrats in deep-red Texas,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.

Not just Texas. How about Kentucky?
Clinton has a 48/42 favorability rating with Kentucky voters. By comparison Barack Obama's approval rating is 38/59. Clinton would lead Rand Paul 47-42 and Marco Rubio 48-40 in hypothetical match ups. That's because Clinton gets 73-74% of the Democratic vote in those match ups, similar to the 72-73% of the Republican vote that Paul and Rubio get. The reason Democrats lose time after time in Kentucky despite having a large registration advantage is that a very large number of Democrats don't vote Democratic for President, but Clinton would win over a lot of the party faithful who have declined to support Obama, Kerry, and Gore.
The point here isn't that Hillary would win both those states. It would be a longshot. Point is, if she's making states like those two competitive, what prayer would Republicans have in the traditional battlegrounds?

As I noted last week, Republicans are already in a world of hurt—if 2012 looked demographically the way 2016 will look, President Barack Obama's 3.9-point victory would've been a 5.2-point victory. But Clinton would make the GOP's daunting task downright impossible, particularly in the wake of their hamfisted efforts to attack Obama by trying to gin up a rivalry between the president and his former primary opponent.

So when Dick Cheney said, "I have the sense that she’s one of the more competent members of the current administration, and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president," he wasn't trying to be nice to Clinton, he was trying to attack Obama. But oops. Four years of blowing kisses at Hillary can't be erased by a single manufactured freakout over Benghazi. The reality is that Hillary remains the nation's most popular politician and the most admired woman in the last 64 years, per Gallup.

On the Democratic side, several politicians are already laying groundwork for their runs, including Vice President Joe Biden. But really, 2016 is all about Hillary. If she wants it.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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