Hillary Clinton may be dominating every poll of potential Democratic hopefuls for the White House, but some progressives are desperate to find a candidate who will challenge her from the left. Groups have sprung up to encourage Elizabeth Warren to take a stab at the nomination, but with the Massachusetts senator repeatedly saying she isn’t running, liberal activists will likely have to turn elsewhere—perhaps to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) or Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley—if they aren’t satisfied with Clinton. But so far, the only Democratic alternative officially in the race is former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who launched an exploratory committee in November.
A former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, Webb is being touted by some on the left as an Appalachian populist who could champion causes Clinton would rather ignore. The Nation’s William Greider, for example, lauded Webb’s presidential ambitions in a column headlined “Why Jim Webb Could be Hillary Clinton’s Worst Nightmare.”