The 2016 presidential campaign is in its early stages and yet exploratory committees seem to spring up almost daily.
What do Americans want next time around?
According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, most Americans want candidates who will bring changes from current policies and even policies of the past. Fully 59 percent of Americans say 2016 is a time “to look for a person who will bring greater changes from current policies,” while 38 percent say the country needs “a more experienced and tested person even if it means fewer changes.”
Perhaps this is because a majority Americans (60 percent) calls the nation “off track” and “headed in the wrong direction.” Not surprisingly, half (50 percent) of Americans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, including on foreign policy (36 percent) and the economy (48 percent).
Although the embattled Hillary Clinton is selling her candidacy as historic because she would be the first female president, slightly more than half respondents (51 percent) see her as a return to the policies of the past. Still, at the time the poll was taken, an overwhelming majority of Democratic primary voters (86 percent) say they could support Clinton for the party’s nomination.
Jeb Bush doesn’t fare nearly as well. Sixty percent of Americans tie Bush to the past and only 27 percent think he could bring new ideas and vision. Would Republican primary voters support him? According to this poll, a smidgen less than half (49 percent) see themselves supporting his nomination, compared to 42 who say that they would not. Florida senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and even former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee do better than Governor Bush in support among GOP voters.
More Americans are clamoring for change in the upcoming 2016 presidential election than they were in the "Hope and Change" year of 2008, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
That desire for change is a potential roadblock for two of the leading frontrunners – Democrat Hillary Clinton (the former first lady, presidential candidate and secretary of state) and Republican Jeb Bush (the former Florida governor whose brother and father served as president).
But it might be a more significant challenge for Bush, given that fewer than half of Republican primary voters believe he would provide new ideas and a vision for the future, versus nearly three-quarters of Democrats who think the same of Clinton.
What's more here, a plurality of Republican primary voters – 46 percent – say that a candidate coming closest to their views on the issues is more important than being the best chance to defeat the Democratic nominee (19 percent) or having the right personal style and leadership qualities (33 percent).
"This poll presents less than good tidings for Jeb Bush," says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates.
"Clinton's numbers are just extraordinary from a starting point in a primary," says Bill McInturff, the GOP pollster. "A number in the mid-80s is stunning."
In addition, 61 percent of Democratic voters say it's not a concern to them if Democrats don't find an intra-party challenger to Clinton.
Perhaps the biggest lesson from these numbers is that President Obama’s “Hope and Change” marketing slogan may have worked as marketing but now rings hollow after six years of expansionist government, bitterness in Washington, and a stagnant economy and fears that the international situation has deteriorated, putting the U.S. and our traditional allies on perilous situations.
Let us hope that this poll shows that American voters are ready to listen hard and get beyond the slogans and fondness for celebrity that have given us a troubled interlude in the history of our country. After eight years of expansionary government, the erosion of the private economy, and control over our lives, we want a return to freedom, but also innovation and effective leadership that relies on something other than smearing the opposition.