By Jack Minor –
With the 2016 presidential elections nearly three years away, some Democrats are worried that Hillary Clintons early surge could haunt them during this year’s mid-term elections by draining much needed cash to fend off a Republican onslaught.
While former Secretary of State and former first lady Hillary Clinton has not officially announced she is running for the presidency in 2016 in order to continue the Obama legacy, the consensus seems to be that the nomination is hers for the taking if she wants it. While the sitting vice-president has traditionally been given the nod from his party, polling consistently shows Clinton as being the clear choice among Democrats.
While Clinton has not officially announced her candidacy, she appears to be assembling a campaign apparatus that indicates she is in fact planning on running.
With her frontrunner status, Democrats who are in a difficult fight to maintain their majority in the Senate during this year’s midterm elections fear that Clinton’s campaign machine could siphon off much needed funds from Democratic candidates.
A similar thing occurred when her husband, former President Bill Clinton would show up at events taking place at the same time as other Democratic events, effectively “sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.”
The problem is that Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton Super PAC has been actively soliciting donations from large Democratic donors who may be unable to also donate to other super PACS set up to help Democrats retain the Senate.
The Wall Street Journal says that officials with Priorities USA are aware of the concerns by other Democrats and are considering sending fundraising requests with specific language asking donors to withhold their biggest donations until after the midterm elections. For instance, a person pledging $1 million dollars might only give $100,000 this year.
Some Democrats have also expressed concerns over the lack of serious contenders for the nomination, and Clinton walking away with the nomination in what is essentially a coronation.
“We need a vibrant, competitive primary process where not only can people sharpen their positions on different issues, but also get ready for what’s going to come in the fall [2016 general election], which is going to be brutal,” Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic chairman in South Carolina told the WSJ.
While polling suggests that if Clinton were to receive the presidential nomination, she would win election in a landslide, others have expressed worries that she may peak to early and by election day voters may have “Clinton fatigue.”
There is also the issue of the multitude of scandals that surrounded her husband’s administration that included allegations Bill Clinton committed rape, issues surrounding the firing of the White House travel office staff, the deaths of Vince Foster and Ron Brown as well as Chinese fundraising scandals.