Perhaps bored with the Democratic primary, in which Hillary Clinton’s biggest competitor is still about 30 percentage points behind, Reuters tried to see if there were any alternate universes in which the front-runner has more competition.
Based on their polling experiment, the answer is no. Bill Clinton would be 25 percentage points behind former Secretary of State Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, drawing 26 percent support to her 51 percent; only 20 percent of Democratic primary voters said they would vote for Michelle Obama. Secretary of State John Kerry, Al Gore, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, and Oprah performed even worse. The poll did not pit Clinton against Mickey Mouse, America’s favorite write-in candidate.
Given that all of these fantasy candidates will never run for office, or are legally barred from doing so, the poll may function better as a test of the common sense of voters — who refuse to entertain the idea that they might support an inconceivable candidate, even in a silly no-stakes poll — than a sign of the strength of Clinton’s support. Republican voters will get a chance to play this game, too, if Donald Trump ends up running as an Independent.