Shot across the "anti-Hillary" bough
by Ben P, Fri May 27, 2005 at 04:28:35 PM EDT
The survey shows that the New York senator and former first lady has broadened her support nationwide over the past two years, though she still provokes powerful feelings from those who oppose her.
*Clinton commands as much strong support -- but more strong opposition -- as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998. *
"Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated ... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably," says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. In a Pew poll released this month, Kohut called former president Bill Clinton and the senator "comeback kids" because of their rising ratings.
"This may also reflect that she has been recasting her image as a more moderate person," he says.
Spokesmen for Sen. Clinton declined to discuss the survey. "She's just focused on working and doing her job for New York," says Anne Lewis, a veteran Democratic operative working at Hillpac, Clinton's political action committee. . . .
. . . Her strong support has risen by 8 percentage points, and her strong opposition has dropped by 5 points since the same question was asked in June 2003. . .
Among those who were very or somewhat likely to vote for Clinton for president, there were:
*A big gender gap. Six of 10 women but 45% of men were likely to support her.
*Significant differences by age. Two of three voters under 30 were likely to support her, compared with fewer than half of those 50 and older.
*Strongest support from those with the lowest income. Sixty-three percent of those with annual household incomes of $20,000 or less were likely to support her, compared with 49% of those with incomes of $75,000 or higher.
*And big swings by ideology. An overwhelming 80% of liberals were likely to support her, compared with 58% of moderates and 33% of conservatives.
Among those surveyed, 54% called Clinton a liberal, 30% a moderate and 9% a conservative.
Doesn't surprise me at all. Hillary is much more popular than many on the left think, who spend too much time projecting what they think "middle American" voters do and don't like (while they themselves live in NYC and Boston).
Hillary has the right blend of moderate toughness and liberal instincts to make a very, very formidable candidacy. Lets not start the inaugaral party yet - not by any means - but if you forced me right now to state who I think will occupy the White House come '09, I think Hillary might be the best bet. (amongst an admittedly crowded field).
Hillary scores well with women, African Americans, and moderates. I think she is exactly the kind of person who will win back some of those married women who defected to Bush over the terror issue in '08