Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama
Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
A new poll of Democrats on their preferred candidates for the 2016 presidential race has produced the Obama name, which pollster Fritz Wenzel described as “bizarre.”
The results come from a poll by Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, who found that Hillary Clinton is winning 55 percent of the support from respondents who said they plan to vote in the Democrat Party primary.
But in the No. 2 position was Michelle Obama, with support from 19 percent of the respondents.
“In a limited field of just four candidates – Clinton, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and John Kerry, Michelle Obama finished a very distant second place at 19 percent support. The second-place finish of Obama is every bit as bizarre as Clinton’s first-place finish is predictable,” he said.
“Joe Biden’s support by just 8 percent of likely Democratic voters is simply pathetic, and if John Kerry ever harbored a thought that his current role as Secretary of State might support a presidential comeback, this survey shows he should discard such a thought,” Wenzel said.
Only some 2 percent said they would pick Kerry.
WND reported earlier that political junkies were creating a buzz over a “dream” ticket of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
According to the Washington Examiner, former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney said, “All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America.”
Democratic strategist Chris Lehane told the paper, “More than anything else, this reflects the growing awareness that it is time for the glass ceiling of the last old boys club to be firmly shattered.”
There are already bumper stickers in the marketplace with messages such as “2016-Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama,” and “Hillary-Michelle 2016 First First Lady Ticket For President,” and Cafe Press reported a 60 percent hike in sales of the Hillary-Michelle sticker from December to March, with the largest jump in March.
Some have suggested putting Mrs. Obama at the top of the ticket and having Mrs. Clinton run for VP, especially after Michelle announced the Best Picture Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards.
Among them is NBC late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, who told Michelle Obama on his show, “I’ve said it here first. Dream team: Michelle and Hillary, ’16. What do you think?”
“You know, I have my eye actually on another job,” Mrs. Obama responded. “You know I hear that when Jay Leno retires, that ‘The Tonight Show’ position is gonna be open and I’m thinking about putting my hat in the ring.”
As WND reported in 2009, an online poll by CNN had viewers overwhelmingly saying Michelle Obama should never run for president.
The question specifically asked: “Should Michelle Obama run for president in 2020?”
With 200,000 votes tallied in the unscientific poll, 83 percent of respondents answered no, with a ratio of over 165,000 against the idea to only 35,000 in favor.
According to the Washington Examiner, pollster John Zogby questioned if a Hillary-Michelle ticket would sell.
“Hillary and Michelle are both very popular and accomplished, but this smacks of too much celebrity and is a tad too dynastic for American voters,” he said. “An interesting reality show, yes. A ticket, no.”
The new poll also showed the GOP contenders are Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a sudden GOP supporter of a Senate amnesty plan, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who rattled establishment Washington recently with an old-fashioned filibuster over the Obama administration use of drones to kill people.
“When it comes to the presidential primary campaigns for 2016, the latest WND/Wenzel polling shows that Democrats have pretty much already made up their minds and the Republicans are mulling a variety to options,” Wenzel reported.
His telephone poll was conducted from April 25-29 and has a margin of error of 3.03 percentage points.
“Democrats appear settled already on Hillary Clinton as their nominee, as she wins 55 percent support among those respondents in the survey who said they plan to vote in the Democratic Party primary or caucus in their state,” said Wenzel.
He noted 2016 is some time away yet, and other Democrat challengers may surface, “But at this point, it is a one-woman race for the presidential nomination.”
The reveals Republicans are in a different position, when a choice of multiple leaders.
“Several possible candidates win double-digit support,” said Wenzel. “Sen. Marco Rubio holds a small lead over Sen. Rand Paul, but the edge is statistically insignificant. Rubio wins 22 percent support, compared to 21 percent support for Paul.”
Wenzel added, “Congressman Paul Ryan placed third in this survey with 18 percent, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wins 12 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wins 11 percent support.
“This has all the earmarks of a real dogfight for the GOP nomination, which might be a very good thing, given that the last two presidential nominees proved to be failures at representing the conservative values at the heart of the Republican Party and big disappointments at the ballot box,” Wenzel said.
“It is not clear how firm the support is for each of the candidates, but 17 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans said they were unable to make up their minds on the question,” Wenzel said.
On related questions about how Americans view the candidates, more than 45 percent said they had a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of Biden, with another 8 percent undecided.
That included nearly 12 percent of Democrats, the vide president’s own party. Nearly 80 percent of the GOP shared that opinion.
Michelle Obama’s popularity within her party was strong, with some 84 percent having a very or somewhat favorable opinion of her. Even 10 percent of the GOP and one-third of the independents said they thought of Obama very favorably.
The opinion on Kerry was split nearly down the middle, with 44 percent holding a favorable opinion and 43 percent unfavorable.
For the Republicans, there is a close race, with Christie getting very or somewhat favorable ratings from 48 percent, Ryan 47 percent, Bush 46 percent, Rubio 45 percent and Paul 44 percent.
Rubio has pushed himself into leadership role by promoting the Senate’s bipartisan plan for “comprehensive immigration reform,” dubbed “amnesty” by critics.
It already is generating significant opposition in the U.S. House. While Rubio was endorsing the strategy, he took a subtle swipe at his tea party base, saying, “To my friends who believe in limited government and free enterprise … who helped me got elected … we are a nation of immigrants. We’re not going to deport them.”
The pending proposal was over John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director but the underlying dispute was over drones, and the president’s claim to power.
Attorney General Eric Holder had made a statement that a drone attack could be ordered on a U.S. citizen on American soil. On the Senate floor, Paul said: “If our country is a battlefield, if our country is a war zone, what is left? What are we fighting for it we are not going to fight for our rights at home?”
Joshua Foust of the American Security Project said that “from a legal perspective, there is nothing problematic about floating a drone over a city.”
However, he said, “In terms of getting armed drones, I would be very nervous about that happening right now.”
Holder told Paul in response to a question from the senator that the U.S. never has carried out a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on American soil and it would be “unlikely.”
However, Holder also said he could not rule it out entirely.
“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” Holder’s letter said.
He confirmed Obama “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”