Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton: Who would win in 2016?

With Jeb Bush's Tuesday announcement that he is actively exploring a run for the White House in 2016, the prospect of another Bush v. Clinton matchup grows. What do the polls say about who would win?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listens before speaking at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington. Bush on Tuesday took his most definitive step yet toward running for president, announcing plans to “actively explore” a campaign and form a new political operation allowing him to raise money for like-minded Republicans.

Election 2016 may be back to the future all over again.

With Jeb Bush's Tuesday announcement that he is actively exploring a run for the White House in 2016, the prospect of another Bush v. Clinton matchup grows. To Americans all-too familiar with both political families that may be both exciting – and  appalling.

Should the former Florida governor and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton win their respective party's nomination – and that's a long way off – the 2016 election would pit two of the most powerful American political dynasties of late against each other.

And it wouldn't be the first time. In 1992, Bill Clinton ousted former President George H.W. Bush, Jeb's father. And in 2000, George W. Bush, Jeb's brother, defeated Clinton Vice President Al Gore.

Politically incestuous? Sure. But both Clinton (Hillary, to be clear) and Bush (we're talking about Jeb) loom large.

Clinton nearly won her party's nomination and gained valuable experience in 2008. She earned high marks and approval ratings for her four years as Secretary of State under President Obama. She has, arguably, the strongest claim on being the next Democratic standard-bearer.

Of course, Bush is no slacker in the political department either. As the Monitor reported, he's got plenty going for him – name recognition, gravitas, polish, executive experience in a major swing state, and perhaps most importantly, credibility with a critical demographic that has eluded Republicans more recently: Hispanics. After all, Governor Bush speaks Spanish, his wife was born in Mexico, and he took an astonishing 61 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 1998 governor's race.

So there's reason that the Bushes and Clintons remain popular.

“We love our brands — they offer certainty in a world spinning apart,” Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, told Politico. “The political equivalent of a brand is the dynasty, the Bushes or Clintons. And even if Coke produces New Coke, or Ford, an Edsel, now and then…. we remain loyal. We know and value what the brand stands for … otherwise, we wouldn’t want it rehabilitated.”

Of course, many aren't so pleased with the prospect of another Bush-Clinton election, with some in the international community mocking America's democracy.

"In 1774 the Continental Congress, which became the governing body of Unites States, split with Britain to move away from the dynastic rule of the Hanoverians. More than 240 years later, the country is on the cusp of returning to bloodline dominion with news that Jeb Bush, brother of George W. Bush, son of George H. W. Bush, is throwing his stetson in the ring for a run at the White House," writes the Huffington Post's UK edition. "That’s right - for the third time in 27 years an oil-soaked, Texas-born Republican from the same family could become president of the United States.

"Should Bush or Clinton emerge victorious in late 2016, by the following election a member of one of the two families will have occupied the Oval Office for all but eight of the last 31 years."

So in a matchup between Bush and Clinton, who wins?

Clinton, by a lot. According to a poll conducted by Bloomberg Politics, if the election were to be held today, Clinton would get 43 percent of the vote compared to 37 percent for the former Florida governor. But of course, a lot can change between now and 2016.

Perhaps most telling in a potential Bush-Clinton matchup is the percentage of people who said they would vote for another candidate or not vote at all: some 17 percent.

In terms of favorability, Clinton also received the highest net favorable rating compared to Bush, 52 percent compared to 32 percent. It turns out voters have strong feelings about Clinton, good and bad. The unfavorable rating was also higher for Clinton: 42 percent compared to 37 percent for Bush.

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