The latest on the presidential horse race.

Can Elizabeth Warren Pull an Obama Against Hillary?

This isn’t the first time a Hillary Clinton nomination has appeared “inevitable.”

In the leadup to the 2008 primaries, it long appeared that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee and the next in line to be president. Things didn’t quite go that way.

At this point (two and a half years out) in the 2008 process, then-Senator Obama was polling at around 7 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 33, and many polls didn’t include him at all in favor of potential candidates like Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Biden.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren actually finds herself in a better spot now than Obama did in 2006, despite trailing Clinton by 50+ points in the polls.

The only difference between this primary and 2008 is the lack of candidates. Outside of Hillary and Warren, only Joe Biden is polling in relevant numbers while candidates like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo look like massive longshots. Otherwise, Warren is in a prime spot to elevate her standing over the next two years and pull out an Obama-like victory.

It’ll all come down to early momentum.

In the Iowa first-in-the-nation caucus, Clinton has seen her numbers slip from 71 percent to 59 percent in the most recent poll while Warren has inched up from single-digits to 11-12 percent in the Hawkeye State.

In the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary, Warren has also edged up from single-digits to 13 percent in the last poll we’ve seen.

Certainly, Warren does not have the same amount of candidates to water down Hillary’s poll numbers as there were in 2008 but that doesn’t mean she can’t pull off the same type of upset – and an influx of more progressive or fringe candidates like former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders could certainly hit Hillary’s base.

A look at the 2008 primary poll trends shows that Obama wasn’t consistently polling at 20 percent until February of 2007. In other words, if Warren is polling 20-23 percent by February/March of 2015, she would be right where Obama was and her current trajectory shows her doing just that.

(Image courtesy of Senate Democrats)