According to Jonathan Chait, Hillary Clinton will probably win the 2016 election. Why? Because there’s no reasonable alternative.
She cannot promise her supporters a dramatic change or new possibilities; she is personally too familiar, and the near certainty of at least one Republican-controlled chamber of Congress suggests continued legislative stalemate. Her worry is that ennui sets in among the base and yields a small electorate more like the kind that shows up at the midterms, which is an electorate Republicans can win.
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history. Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party’s barking-mad consensus. She is non-crazy America’s choice by default. And it is not necessarily an exciting choice, but it is an easy one, and a proposition behind which she will probably command a majority.
I am pretty sure that in the next nineteen months we’re going to hear a lot of reasons why she can’t win or why the Republicans will come up with their dream candidate… presumably someone we haven’t heard of yet. But the GOP base is so locked into the anti-Clinton/anti-Obama conspiracy/scandal mode — trust me, Benghazi and the private e-mails are just the amuse-bouches — that even if Ronald Reagan came back he couldn’t make the lunatic fringe calm down enough to bring enough Democrats and independents over to get them over the finish line.