In New York City's mayoral race, veteran Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is standing by her husband, Anthony Weiner, despite a series of sex scandals. The Clintons are publicly staying out of the race, while expressing support through intermediaries for Abedin and not Weiner.
In Virginia, longtime Bill Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe is seeking the governor's office, in a bruising race where McAuliffe's business venture with one of Hillary Clinton's brothers has become a campaign issue. The Clintons are solidly behind McAuliffe, though some in their circle have bristled at suggestions that the race is a road-test for 2016, as if the Clintons needed to use a statewide campaign as a test drive.
Schriock, of EMILY's List, said Clinton supporters are cognizant of the obstacles her candidacy would face. Her efforts, she said, are focused on clearing those away, either for Clinton or anyone among the next crop of Democratic women who are seeking to follow her footsteps.
"The United States has never actually elected a woman to the White House," she said. "She's not the only woman who can do this. She is by far the best Democrat to take this on in 2016. We certainly hope she decides to run, but it's her personal decision."
Devine said the Clinton camp is savvy to try to own and channel early 2016 stirrings.
"All the mojo is sort of there," he said. "It's very smart. If they leave the space unoccupied, others would move toward it."