The latest findings from Quinnipiac University released on Thursday served as a reminder of that, with 65 percent of Democratic voters nationwide saying they would vote for the former secretary of state if the party's presidential primary were being held today. Clinton lapped the other potential contenders included in the poll, claiming a more than 50-point advantage over the rest of the hypothetical Democratic field. Vice President Joe Biden registered only 13 percent support. Battling low name recognition, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley all failed to eclipse 5 percent support.
The gulf separating Clinton and the rest of the prospective crop of candidates is hardly unprecedented. A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll on Tuesday showed 63 perent of Democrats nationwide identifying Clinton as their preferred choice for 2016, crushing both Biden and Cuomo.
Meanwhile, a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling last week found Clinton in a commanding position in New Hampshire, a perennial general election battleground state and home to the nation's first presidential primary. Clinton earned the support of 68 percent of Granite State Democrats -- Biden was a distant second with 12 percent -- while also easily topping both Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) among all New Hampshire voters in hypothetical 2016 match-ups.
It's worth noting that Clinton approached the 2008 presidential election in a position of similar strength among Democrats. But her enormous popularity and the growing movement to push her to run might make 2016 different. Before she left her post at the State Department earlier this year, polls routinely showed Clinton to be the most popular public figure in the country. Moreover, Ready for Hillary, a group designed to encourage Clinton to run, has already begun organizing and holding events like the rally in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.
The next presidential race is still a long way off, but there is already indication that Clinton's dominance may be deterring other prospective candidates from entering the race. A report in the New York Post this week suggested that Cuomo will pass on a White House bid if Clinton is in the race. But Quinnipiac's poll indicated that his chances might not improve much even in her absence.
Without Clinton in the field, the poll showed Biden defeating the New York governor and the other candidates by at least 30 points.