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With Hillary Clinton officially in the 2016 pool, a new Bloomberg poll shows that Democrats and independents would like to see a real campaign for the Democratic nomination, as opposed to a “coronation.” This will serve as the basis for other Democrats to enter the fray, if not for their personal political ambitions, but perhaps to give the party base what it wants.

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Report from Bloomberg:

If Hillary Clinton is to become her party’s 2016 presidential nominee, independents and even Democrats overwhelmingly want to see her earn the title, according to a Bloomberg Politics national poll that also shows increasing headwinds for her candidacy.

As Clinton prepared to formally announce her candidacy on Sunday, nearly three-quarters of Democrats and independents in the survey said it would be a good thing for the Democratic Party if she were to face a “serious” challenger for the nomination. Democrats and independents hold the same view, with 72 percent of both groups saying her party would be best served by a robust primary. [Emphasis added]

That presents a potential opening for other Democrats considering bids, including former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and possibly Vice President Joe Biden.

Facing a serious challenge “would prepare her for debates and things like that against the Republican nominee,” said poll respondent Marc Witte, 66, a Democrat and clinical counselor from Poland, Ohio. Yet Witte, who supports Clinton, isn’t quite sure he wants Clinton to face an overly combative challenger. “That could be a bad thing,” he said.

It would be a very good thing for the Democratic Party, but probably not a very helpful situation for Hillary. If you want to see a robust campaign, look at 2008 and examine how she fared. Long-term day-to-day exhausting campaigning did not suit her well the last time around. Her team, smartly, knows this and is trying to approach it all differently this time. It will be interesting to watch her campaign unfold over the coming months.

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