Democrats Maintain Significant Generic Presidential Ballot Lead

While numbers on head-to-head match ups between leading Democratic candidates are a bit muddled, with different polls showing varying results, one thing that pollsters seem to be able to agree on is this: The Democrats hold a major lead on the generic presidential ballot question. Take a look at the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (.pdf):

1/0812/07
Democrat--strongly4139
Democrat--not strongly78
Republican--not strongly78
Republican--strongly2325
Net Democrat4847
Net Republican3033
Independent candidate910

These numbers are very much in line with those found this month by CBS News and The New York Times, which had the Democrats leading 50 percent to 32 percent, as well as in the Diageo/Hotline poll (.pdf), which had the Democrats leading 48 percent to 33 percent.

Of course -- of course -- the Democrats would rather see their lead in the generic presidential ballot be replicated in actual named head-to-heads between leading Democrats and leading Republicans than not. But as much as these numbers are at least somewhat irrelevant given that we are in a presidential rather than parliamentary system, I'd still prefer sitting on a 15- or 18-point lead in this metric than a 15- or 18-point deficit.

Tags: 2008 (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Generic number is the number right now

'08 should be as good as '06 as long and Pelosi and Reid can keep their mouths shout and pass a couple more pieces of bread and butter domestic legislation.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-25 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Generic number is the number right now

Won't matter, in my opinion. If McCain gets the Republican nomination, he is the next president, primarily because Hillary is now the most likely Democratic candidate.

Obama is our only hope if he can change perceptions amd overcome our bigotted nature and history. Unfortunately, McCain is white. And that would be the only difference.

by shergald 2008-01-25 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Generic number is the number right now

You can keep asserting that McCain will be the next president all you want.

However, current polls show Hillary beating McCain and Hillary has come under a lot of fire in campaigning whereas McCain has hardly been scratched.  

Hillary vs. McCain?   I think Hillary wins.

by InigoMontoya 2008-01-25 10:37AM | 0 recs
Shergald you are becoming a bore.

I've got a good idea why not try and get a job working on McCains campaign since you are so convinced he's going to beat Clinton. You never know it could translate into a White House job. And there was a Freudian slip in there too.

"because Hillary is now the most likely Democratic candidate."

by ottovbvs 2008-01-25 10:48AM | 0 recs
Hillary beating him by 4 now per LaTimes

Besides McCain is an easy out for Clinton.

Remember how Dole was made to look like a dottering insane fool?   Watch what happens to McCain.  

"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran," John sang at a presser.   Luv it.

72 year old cancer patient?  For President, for real?

McCain on health care?   Does he even have a position?  Americans finally are ready to demand action on health care and will not be scared this time of bogus  "socialized medicine" charges.

Look at the fav. numbers over at openleft.  Add the  neutral / don't know numbers and it is clear there is a whole lot more room to define McCain than there is to define Clinton at this point.  She is well known and still has a postitive
rating.  

There is plenty of room and plenty of time to make McCain look like a senile, dottoring old warmonger intent on starting news wars, prolonging old ones all the while denying women and children the health care that they need.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-25 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary beating him by 4 now per LaTimes

Agree. Can you imagine Hillary and Bill tag teaming McCain and the Dole strategy is just what they'd use. And in a political landscape that is infinitely less favorable to Republicans than 1996. Part of the problem here is that a lot of posters here were at school in 1996. They have no memory of Bob Dole and what happened.

by ottovbvs 2008-01-25 11:00AM | 0 recs
He was out of the race by April

Which just made all that much  worse for him.   By summer he couldn't raise any money because nobody wanted to pee it away on a lost cause.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-25 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: He was out of the race by April

It is interesting examining the Republican mindset at the moment. There's piece up by Noonan in the WSJ, technically it's in tomorrows newspaper. The first third of it is extraordinary. It's a huge attack on Bill Ciinton in which she claims he's tearing the democratic party apart and alienating black voters and people with red hair. The remaining two thirds blames the entire Republican melt down on Bush. For which btw she is being excoriated on lots of Bush lovin sites like Capt Quarters who of course maintain she's completely right about the Bill Clinton induced disintegration of the Democratic party. These people are well and truly losing it.  

by ottovbvs 2008-01-25 11:17AM | 0 recs
WTF Does Noonen Know about Democrats?

She is a Republican whore.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-25 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Maintain

There are lots of interesting nuggets in that poll.  For one, Hillary has (by a fairly substantial margin) the highest number in both the Very Positive and Very Negative ratings.  Either love her or hate her...

Democrats in general have far, far less neutral ratings than Republicans.  The GOP candidates have roughly equivalent unfavorables as the Dem candidates, but not nearly the favorables and far more neutrals.  Enthusiasm gap anyone?

The funniest thing in the whole poll is watching Rudy's Very Favorable rating drop steadily from 61 (12/01) to 6 (current).

by NJIndependent 2008-01-25 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Maintain

Clinton's overall negative in this poll was 41% Her positive 47%. In other words Most Republicans and a few Naderite folks don't like her. So what's new?

by ottovbvs 2008-01-25 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Maintain Significant Generic Preside

I think that Obama would win against McCain in the general election because people of color would come out in droves to vote.

What I'd really like to know is the demographics of the constituencies and if people are voting along party lines.

by Joannems 2008-01-25 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Maintain Significant Generic Preside

Female voters are about 54% of electorate and black voters are about 12%. I your logic is sound it suggests that Clinton would be the wiser choice on grounds of gender/ethnicity.  

by ottovbvs 2008-01-25 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Maintain Significant Generic Preside

I see your point. I'm wondering how many women in their 20s and 30s will vote for Obama because he is the younger candidate. Also consider Hispanics and other people of color.

There are also major issues like capital punishment that may sway voters. Clinton comes out squarely in favor of it while Obama is in favor of it in certain dramatic circumstances.

But to what extent do these issues matter to people? How informed are average people about the issues? Probably not very, but call me a pessimist.

Will people vote for Obama because he is a more unifying force? It seems more rational. But are people really thinking this through?

by Joannems 2008-01-25 11:24AM | 0 recs
Generic Presidential Ballot Lead

We should just run a man or woman named "Generic Democrat" one year.

Choose your poison - we get President McCain and Roe v. Wade goes down the drain, or we get President Clinton and lose Congress in 2010.  Either way, outlook is pretty bleak for the progressive movement right now.

Hopefully I'm just being unreasonably pessimistic.  Wouldn't be the first time, I'll admit.

by NC State Dem 2008-01-25 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Generic Presidential Ballot Lead

On a positive note, we're probably looking at either the first woman president or the first black president. There's no telling. Change is good. Maybe Hillary or Obama will pick a cool running mate who will win in 2010.

by Joannems 2008-01-25 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Generic Presidential Ballot Lead

I mean 2012.

by Joannems 2008-01-25 12:20PM | 0 recs
Id rather have McCain

than have Republican-lite Hillary and lose Congress.  I even saw her speaking in South Carolina yesterday and she was speaking about how great it was to work with Republicans after they took over Congress in 1995.  

by Toddwell 2008-01-25 02:27PM | 0 recs

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