It’s as if the last seven years never happened: Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive early Democratic favorite in the White House race.
A Washington Post poll Thursday had Clinton obliterating the potential Democratic field and showed she would handily dispatch scandal-dented Republican hopeful Chris Christie in a 2016 general election.
Still, the fact that Clinton is leading polls at this early stage hardly means she’ll burst through the glass ceiling in which she said she made 18 million cracks in the 2008 White House race.
Clinton was the heavy early favorite for the Democratic nomination in 2008 — until the phenom known as Barack Obama exploded into life just before voting started and snatched away the prize.
While there appear to be no rock star candidates hiding in the wings this time around, the lesson of 2008 is that apparent “inevitability” does not guarantee victory.
Polls this early in a presidential race — when no candidates are yet declared, though several are mulling runs — are notoriously unreliable.
What is clear, though, is that if she does give it another go, any Democrat taking Clinton on could be in for a rough ride.
According to the survey, the former secretary of state would trounce her closest possible rival, Vice President Joe Biden, in a primary race. She currently leds him 73 percent to 12 percent among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic.
Even at this point, a six-to-one lead seems almost impossible for Biden to make up.
Populist Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, a favorite with the party’s left wing grass roots, is in the third spot with eight percent.
The potential Republican primary figures to be much closer, with former vice presidential nominee congressman Paul Ryan leading the pack with 20 percent, ahead of former Florida governor and ‘first brother’ Jeb Bush with 18 percent.
Tough talking New Jersey Governor Christie, once seen as the Republican establishment’s standard bearer, has seen his hopes dimmed by local scandal and has just 13 percent among Republican and Republican-leaning independents.
Next comes Texas firebrand Senator Ted Cruz, followed by libertarian Senator Rand Paul with 11 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 10 percent.
Among registered voters, Clinton — who has said she will decide this year whether to run — outpoints Christie 53 percent to 41 percent in a hypothetical matchup for the White House.
Many factors will go into Clinton’s decision on whether to take another crack at being the first women president.
To begin with, she will be 69 when the next president is inaugurated in January 2017, so health issues could come into play.
Obama’s current parlous political plight could also be relevant, as it has a bearing on whether a fellow Democrat has a decent hope of succeeding him.
Signs that she would be a massive favorite in the Democratic race however will build intense pressure on the former first lady as she mulls whether to launch a new campaign in the psuedo-war ahead of the 2016 race, which will last until this year’s mid-term congressional elections.