Noting a series of populist victories among Democrats, Scheiber suggests that such forces could pose a serious obstacle for Hillary. He thinks Elizabeth Warren could prove to be a formidable opponent:
It’s hard to look at the Democratic Party these days and not feel as if all the energy is behind Warren. Before she was even elected, her fund-raising e-mails would net the party more cash than any Democrat’s besides Obama or Hillary Clinton. According to the Times, Warren’s recent speech at the annual League of Conservation Voters banquet drew the largest crowd in 15 years. Or consider a website called Upworthy, which packages online videos with clever headlines and encourages users to share them. Obama barely registers on the site; Warren’s videos go viral. An appearance on cable this summer—“CNBC HOST DECIDES TO TEACH SENATOR WARREN HOW REGULATION WORKS. PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT”—was viewed more than a million times. A Warren floor speech during the recent stalemate in Congress—“A SENATOR BLUNTLY SAYS WHAT WE’RE ALL THINKING ABOUT THE OBNOXIOUS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN”—tallied more than two million views.
Warren would have her work cut out for her; Harry Enten calls Clinton “the most formidable presidential frontrunner in the modern era”:
The only candidate anywhere close to Clinton was Al Gore for 2000. Gore had long been in the upper 40s to mid 50s. Gore went on to waltz to the nomination in the single strongest non-incumbent performance in the modern era. He won every single primary and took 76% of the primary vote.
Clinton’s numbers look a lot more like an incumbent. Bush was in the low 70s for 1992. Clinton was in the low 60s to low 70s for 1996. Obama mostly was in the low to mid 60s for 2012, even when matched up against Hillary Clinton.
Moreover, Clinton’s edge extends to the early caucus and primary states. Your national numbers can be amazing, but if you don’t win either Iowa or New Hampshire, you’re likely not going anywhere. Clinton is in the mid 60s in New Hampshire and the low 70s in Iowa.