Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hillary's Baggage Bigger Than Previously Thought

from CaptainsQuarter Blog

Hillary's reign at the top of the polls for the Democratic primary has always worried party activists, knowledgeable of her negatives in a general election. The sense of her inevitability has been tempered with the recognition of the high hurdles between winning a nomination and winning a general election with a large number of voters hostile to her candidacy. Now NBC reports that a new poll puts that number at a majority:

According to a new Mason-Dixon survey, given exclusively to NBC/MSNBC and McClatchy newspapers, Clinton is the only major presidential candidate -- either Democrat and Republican -- for whom a majority of likely general election voters say they would not consider voting. In addition, she's the only candidate who registers with a net-unfavorable rating.

In the poll, 48% say they would consider voting for Clinton versus 52% who say they wouldn't. By comparison, majorities signal they would consider voting for all other major presidential candidates or possible candidates: Giuliani (64%-36%), Fred Thompson (62%-38%), Bloomberg (61%-39%), Obama (60%-40%), Edwards (59%-41%), McCain (58%-42%), Biden (57%-43%), Richardson (57%-43%), Huckabee (56%-44%), and Romney (54%-46%).

Moreover, 39% say they recognize Clinton favorably, while 42% say they recognize her unfavorably. By contrast, every other candidate has a net-positive favorable rating: Giuliani (43%-17%), Obama (36%-21%), McCain (33%-28%), Edwards (32%-28%), Thompson (25%-12%), Romney (24%-20%), Biden (21%-20), Bloomberg (20%-18%), Richardson (19%-15%), and Huckabee (16%-12%).

Will the Democrats nominate someone demonstrably unelectable in this primary? Or will these numbers have the party desperate for a white-knight, eleventh-hour bid from an established national figure -- like Al Gore? Has anyone ever gotten elected to significant office with numbers such as these?

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