Former Clinton pollster: Hillary lacks 'new car smell'
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Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents High-ranking FBI official leaves Russia probe OPINION | Steve Bannon is Trump's indispensable man — don't sacrifice him to the critics MORE has lost the "new car smell" she might need to win the presidency in 2016, said Democratic pollster Doug Schoen on Sunday. 

“The president said [last week] that the next president needs … a new car smell, and it’s pretty hard for me to say … that she [Hillary] has a new car smell," Schoen told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview to air Sunday on New York's 970 AM.

Schoen, who worked on Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and is now a Fox News contributor, said he expects Clinton to run, but that she will face challenges having served in Obama's administration as secretary of State. 

“The real question is how does she separate herself from Obama, yet not get so far away from him that she alienates his base constituency?” he said. 

Schoen said recent polls suggest 2016 is shaping up to be a tough fight.

A Nov. 26 poll by Quinnipiac University showed Republican Mitt Romney ahead of Hillary Clinton 45% to 44% in a theoretical matchup. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush trails slightly behind, at 41%.

“We’re in a real barn burner. The race hasn’t even begun, and it’s tied ostensibly between Hillary and Mitt Romney," Schoen said.

"We’re in a statistical tie here. It’s anyone’s to be won."

Another potential challenge for Clinton is Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren: Education Dept lawyer may have violated conflict-of-interest laws Congress should think twice on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act Sanders plans to introduce single-payer bill in September MORE (D-Mass.), who is gaining prominence within the Democratic Party and is seen as a possible 2016 contender, Schoen said. 

“I think she’s a strong candidate, if she runs," he said. "It's undeniable that the Democratic political base wants the kind of populism that she's been offering the electorate."