The Buzz

Poll stunner: Hillary Clinton smokes Mitt Romney in early sounding

Some voters may have Clinton fatigue. But a new head-to-head survey pitting Hillary Clinton against Republican Mitt Romney in a hypothetical 2016 matchup has the Democrat winning in a landslide.

The poll, by Marist and McClatchy Newspapers, has Clinton winning by 12 points, 53-41 percent.

Romney would be the GOP nominee if GOP primary was held now, the survey said. He’s on top in a crowded field with 19 percent of Republicans backing him. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush comes in second with 14 percent.

The relatively low levels of support suggest that the Republican race is wide, wide open.

If Romney stays out of the race — and at this point, we’re not sure what he’s going to do — Bush would win the GOP nod, according to the survey.

One other key survey finding, which could mean trouble for Republicans: Some 64 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents report that it’s more important to have a nominee who will stand on conservative principles than it is to have a nominee for president who can win.

Bush is a candidate who could win. But whether conservative Republicans who tend to vote in primaries will back him for the nomination remains to be seen.