2014 midterm election exit polls on potential 2016 presidential candidates

This graph shows the results of the 2014 midterm elections exit polls held on November 4, on the following question: "Do you think Chris Christie/Hillary Clinton/Jeb Bush/Rand Paul/Rick Perry would make a good president?"
According to the polls, 64 percent of voters thought Chris Christie would not make a good president.

U.S. 2016 Elections: major candidates - additional information

The presidential elections in the United States have many times yielded surprising results, in terms of each party’s nominee or their running mate, as well as the eventual victor. In 2008, Illinois Senator Barack Obama was relatively unknown on the national and international political scene. However, he managed to defeat fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the race for the nomination and moved on to win the presidency against Arizona Senator John McCain. Not only were his two rivals more versed in politics and more notorious, but his Afro-American ethnicity made many observers wonder whether “America is ready for a Black President.” Another surprise in the 2008 election was John McCain’s unlikely running mate, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. In fact, many consider that her lack of experience and political knowledge might have contributed considerably to the defeat of the Republican nominee.

After President Obama was reelected in 2012 and is therefore ineligible to run a third time, the 2016 presidential elections feature once again unexpected candidacies, surprising retreats and unpredictable turns of events. Comparing presidential favorites according to the 2014 midterm elections exit polls, when Hillary Clinton seemed to be the most likely to “make a good president,” with poll results ahead of the New Hampshire primaries, which list self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders as a more likely nomination winner, it is very clear that many things have changed. On the Republican front too, the picture is dramatically different at the beginning of the election year. While in 2014 Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Rick Perry all had over 24 percent approval ratings, January 2016 polls show businessman Donald Trump as the most likely GOP nominee. Christie and Bush show approval ratings under 5 percent, while both Paul and Perry have already suspended their campaigns. Ahead of the February 9 New Hampshire primaries, it is still unclear who will win each party’s nomination and even less certain who will become the next POTUS.

Do you think either one of the following potential 2016 presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Perry) would make a good president?

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Release date

November 2014


United States

Survey time period

November 4, 2014

Number of respondents

3,612 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Supplementary notes

National Election Pool is a consortium of ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News.

The missing percentage points to 100 percent are from respondents that did not answer the question.

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