Our "Political Insider" panel is fairly sure Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic standard bearer in 2016, but they're a little less sure who she will face next year.
The majority of Republicans and Democrats on our panel, as well as our readers, think Clinton will emerge victoriously and will be at the top of the ticket for the Democrats next year. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders does not cross the 20% threshold in any of our groups.
Most of the Democrats on our "Insider" panel say Jeb Bush should be the GOP nominee in 2016 while Republicans and our readers seem to be split between Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Current frontrunner Donald Trump only pulls a handful of support as does the surging Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.
Read on for anonymous comments from our panelists.
Selected anonymous comments:
"Marco would be the best at uniting the party and uniting the nation. He has accomplished real things as a Florida House Speaker – instead of just talking about them. Several Governors would also be good choices."
"Anyone but that arrogant idiot Trump!"
"I really can't in good faith support any candidate running on either side of the aisle. For the first (and I hope last) time in a presidential election, I may find myself writing in a name. Decisions, decisions. Should I write in someone living…dead…or almost dead? It is really hard to tell from the choices I have to work with. Does anybody else have this same dilemma? Oh, my heck!!"
"After Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina the field will be down to three or four legit candidates. If Bush doesn't win any of those, his fundraisers will keep peeling away and eventually the party will get behind Rubio. This time next year people will not even remember Trump or Bernie Sanders. By Super-Tuesday, we will have the nominee locked down."
"As a lifelong Republican, I will donate to Hillary Clinton if the Republican party nominates Donald Trump. He is an arrogant, racist, chauvinistic, and hateful man. He would be a disaster as president. It is embarrassing that any Republican is supporting him (and telling of the degradation in character and thought our party may be experiencing)."
"Bush will continue to show he cannot win the nomination by placing poorly in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Trump's support will shift between Carson and Cruz. Rubio will end up being the candidate that Bush's supporters shift to and will be seen as a viable choice. Between Cruz and Rubio, it will be one heck of a nomination contest! Both would trounce Hillary in a debate and lead the nation back on the right track."
"Although Trump would create the best material for Saturday Night Live, let's hope sane Republicans see through his smug bravado."
"Please can't Mitt Romney get back in the race? I am begging here."
"Does it even matter? They are all in a contest to 'out-conservative' the others. There is a real danger that the winner will be so far to the right that voters will not be interested."
"Mitt Romney will be drafted during the GOP convention."
"Biden won't cut it. Another face needs to emerge. Hilary is damaged goods."
"It does not matter; the Democratic candidates are all a bunch of idiot liberals. If any of them gets elected, the loser will be the citizens of the United States."
"I still think Hillary will win, but I'm not super excited about it."
"Clinton will probably be the nominee, but Bernie Sanders seems to be giving her a battle. He expresses the feelings of lots of Americans and doesn't have the tainted past the Hillary seems to be carrying around."
"Biden will almost be forced to enter the race to save the Democrats due to Hillary's never ending scandals."