As the GOP clown car of would be 2016 presidential nominees continues to fight to see who can most abase themselves to the ugly religious extremist and white supremacist elements of the GOP base, new polls show that Hillary Clinton continues to best her would be GOP rivals and leads Bernie Sanders by 60%. Things, of course, can change, but so far things remain encouraging that a Republican will NOT make it to the White House next year. NBC News looks at the new poll results. Here are highlights:
Hillary Clinton is leading her nearest Democratic competitor by a whopping 60 points, and she holds the early general-election advantage against the top Republican White House contenders, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Seventy-five percent of national Democratic primary voters favor Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination - compared with 15 percent who pick Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., four percent who choose former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and two percent who select former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.
What's more, 92 percent of Democratic voters say they could see themselves supporting Clinton for the Democratic nomination, which is up six points since March.
Just eight percent can't see themselves backing her in the current poll, which was conducted right after Clinton formally kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in New York City. (By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's score among Republicans is 75-22 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio's, R-Fla., is 74-15 percent.)
GOP pollster Bill McInturff. . . . McInturff adds that Clinton is in the "strongest and most advantageous" position for a non-incumbent running for his or her party's presidential nomination in his lifetime working in politics.
Looking ahead to the general election, Clinton also leads Bush by eight points (48 percent to 40 percent), Rubio by 10 points (50 percent to 40 percent) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by 14 (51 percent to 37 percent).
But the NBC/WSJ poll offers two cautionary notes about Clinton's leads. One, 62 percent of Democratic primary voters want her to have a challenging primary to test her for the general election, signaling they don't want a coronation to the nomination.
And two, the poll shows a generic Democrat defeating a generic Republican in the 2016 presidential race by just three points, 39 percent to 36 percent, suggesting that the general election will be competitive.
And turning to foreign affairs, the poll shows 28 percent of Americans favor sending U.S. troops into Iraq "for as long as it takes" to combat ISIS.
Thirty-two percent support sending U.S. troops for only a short period of time to allow the Iraqi army to take over. And 38 percent don't want to send any U.S. troops into Iraq.