Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hillary: Electoral Poison

Well, perhaps not quite that bad. But Mason-Dixon's latest poll suggests she'll have a hard time getting to 50% in a general:

More than half of Americans say they wouldn't consider voting for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president if she becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new national poll made available to McClatchy Newspapers and NBC News.

The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found that 52 percent of Americans wouldn't consider voting for Clinton, D-N.Y. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, was second in the can't-stand-'em category, with 46 percent saying they wouldn't consider voting for him.

Clinton has long been considered a politically polarizing figure who would be a tough sell to some voters, especially many men, but also Clinton-haters of both genders.

Thursday's survey provides a snapshot of the challenges she faces, according to Larry Harris, a Mason-Dixon principal.

"Hillary's carrying a lot of baggage," he said. "She's the only one that has a majority who say they can't vote for her."

Clinton rang up high negatives across the board, with 60 percent of independents, 56 percent of men, 47 percent of women and 88 percent of Republicans saying they wouldn't consider voting for her.

Wow. That's not very cheery for Democratic voters. Still, Democrats take heart that Hillary beats every likely Republican opponent in the latest Newsweek poll. In fact, she pulls anywhere between 50% and 55% of the vote -- in a sample that's 52% Democrat:

The overall margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on 1,001 adults and 831 registered voters. Results based on smaller subgroups are subject to larger margins of sampling error. The margin of error is plus/minus 7 percentage points for results based on 422 registered Democrats and Dem. leaners and plus/minus 8 percentage points for results based on 324 registered Republicans and Rep. leaners.

My favorite recent defense of Hillary as a strong candidate in the general election came from Representative Earl Pomeroy:

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), who has won re-election since 1992 in a state that overwhelmingly favors the GOP in presidential elections, spoke very favorably of Clinton and noted that Republicans were attacking her awfully hard for someone they say they would prefer to run against.

It’s way too early to conclude that Hillary would be a disaster downballot for the party,” said Pomeroy, who is still mulling a 2008 endorsement.

So there: she won't necessarily be a down-ballot disaster. What more could the Democrats ask for?

Feel better now?

Update: CA Yankee has an excellent post on Hillary's problems over here.

No comments: