Yes, the numbers can influence donors, shape the narrative of the campaign (to use that hoity-toity word) and give political junkies something to discuss around the water cooler (if anyone still gathers around water coolers anymore).
But any survey of voter sentiment taken more than two years before the first 2016 presidential ballots are cast is a pointless exercise as far as predictive powers go. It’s somewhat akin to sitting down this evening to plan a summer trip or ski vacation based on what forecasts say the weather will be like in June or November of 2016. (Please note: This is not a knock against any particular poll or individual pollster. Some of a political writer’s best friends are pollsters.)
PHOTOS: 2013's memorable political moments
Of the four, only Kennedy went on to win the White House, in a squeaker against
Polls taken in individual states are just as changeable. The results in Iowa -- which has traditionally cast the first votes of the nominating process at precinct-level caucuses -- shape the race heading into New Hampshire’s primary, which in turn influences the dynamic in follow-up states South Carolina and Nevada, and on and on.
None of this is to suggest that former Secretary Of State/New York Sen./First Lady
You just won’t know it until it happens, regardless of what the polls say.