Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of the United States and Secretary of State, has been endorsed by one of the largest LGBT rights organizations in the country – and she hasn’t even put her hat in the ring (yet).
Equality California stated Monday, “We want Hillary Clinton to run and are ready to mobilize our 800,000 members to help her win. We’re enthusiastic about her candidacy because she has the best record of accomplishment on LGBT issues of any potential candidate,” Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California said. “Equality California is ready for Hillary!”
The statement continued, “While serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made her support for the LGBT community abundantly clear when she said ‘gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,’” Zbur said. “Although she has yet to formally announce her candidacy, we unequivocally believe that she is not only the most qualified candidate, but also the best candidate to advance LGBT rights.”
A new Gallup poll released March 13, 2015 showed that Clinton was the “clear leader in favorability among democrats” leading into the 2016 election. In fact, nearly eight in 10 Democrats (79 percent) have a favorable view of Clinton. Should she seek her party’s 2016 presidential nomination, Clinton would begin the campaign with a commanding lead in favorability ratings over several potential Democratic opponents, including a 15-percentage-point advantage over Vice President Joe Biden and 42-point margin over Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
On the flipside, the study showed that Republican Rick Santorum, Democrats Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders – an independent who may seek the Democratic nomination – have the biggest challenges related to their image because they are largely unknown and not viewed positively by those who do know them.
Right now, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie come closest to Clinton in familiarity among the GOP field, and Ben Carson and Marco Rubio come closest to her on favorability. All of these candidates are, however, currently weaker than Clinton on the other of those two dimensions.
These latest results come from interviews with 649 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in a March 2-4 Gallup poll. Clinton’s candidacy for the presidency, though widely expected, is still officially unannounced. And, at least for the moment, Clinton’s presidential ambitions seem almost secondary to the still-unfolding controversy from her decision as secretary of state to conduct official government business through a private email server.
Gallup conducted this poll as the revelations about Clinton’s email usage were still coming to light, but the results suggest that Clinton can withstand a few chinks in her armor, at least among the party faithful. Only Biden – a former colleague of hers in the Obama administration and the U.S. Senate – comes anywhere close to Clinton’s familiarity and popularity among Democrats. But unlike Clinton, it is far from certain if Biden will even pursue the nomination.
Warren – a senator elected in 2012 touting a liberal economic agenda, who has previously denied interest in a White House bid – has a favorable rating of about half of Clinton’s (37 percent). Two other candidates who have publicly expressed interest in the nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, both have low favorability.