Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Bill Clinton has been claiming on the stump, essentially, that folks want to push Hillary out because she "is winning the general" while Barack is not. Well, as you can see from the GE electoral maps above, that's not entirely true, although, surprisingly, it is if you look at national tracking polls.

According to Gallup, Hillary Clinton is beating John McCain by 4 points, while John McCain is beating Barack Obama by 1 point. This dynamic has been fairly consistent for the last 4 days and in fact, even as Barack has consistently polled ahead of Hillary for the Democratic nomination (today he's up 50-44), she has continued to poll better than he has against John McCain.

Rasmussen finds the very same phenomenon. Today, Clinton is up just 1 point over John McCain while McCain is up 4 points over Obama. All while Barack beats Hillary by 4 points for the nomination.

Throughout this nomination process, the Democratic candidate with the momentum at any given point has typically polled better against McCain in general election match-ups. Not so lately. As you can see, in both national tracking polls, Hillary Clinton performs exactly 5 points better against John McCain than Barack Obama does. This is especially ironic since Hillary's relative strength against McCain in GE match-ups corresponds with the widely held view that Barack has essentially clinched the nomination. People don't seem to have gotten that memo.

So, is this enough for Clinton to base a claim that she is the better general election candidate? After all, presidents are not elected on a national basis, but rather state by state. Clinton likes to make the case that her stronger performance against Barack in important states in the primaries will translate to a stronger performance in those states in the general. But is that true and could it serve as a compelling argument to superdelegates? Gallup's latest analysis of its tracking poll results has some interesting findings that lend some credence to Hillary's claim.

"In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking by 50% to 43%. In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%.

"In contrast, in the 28 states and the District of Columbia where Obama has won a higher share of the popular vote against Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries and caucuses, there is essentially no difference in how Obama and Clinton each fare against McCain. Both Democrats are statistically tied with him for the fall election."

Gallup goes on:

The question is, do Clinton's popular victories over Obama in states that encompass three-fifths of national voters mean Clinton has a better chance than Obama of winning electoral votes this fall?

And concludes:

Clinton appears to have the stronger chance of capitalizing on her primary strengths in the general election.

But it's not quite that cut and dried. There are many blue states that either Democrat would win and many red ones that neither would. So what about the swing states, which is where the election will be won or lost?

However, just focusing on the swing states in Clinton's and Obama's respective win columns, the two are fairly similar. Clinton beats McCain in her purple states (including Florida and Michigan) by 49% to 43%, while Obama slightly trails McCain (43% to 46%) in these states -- a nine-point swing in the gap in Clinton's favor. Conversely, Obama beats McCain in his purple states (49% to 41%), while Clinton trails McCain by one point, 45% to 46%, in the same states -- also a nine-point swing in the gap in Obama's favor.

Certainly on some level, these results bolster Hillary Clinton's claim that her strength in certain states in the primary would translate to the general, but any analysis like this must be tempered a bit by the reality that general election match-ups this far out from election day are of questionable validity. But the fact remains that the polls do test apples to apples and one must wonder why, even as her chances for the nomination dwindle, Hillary Clinton continues to out-perform Barack Obama against John McCain fairly dramatically. Certainly it defies most conventional wisdom about Hillary Clinton's electability vis a vis Barack Obama's and it would appear to pour a big bucket of cold water on the claims that Barack was the one who would transform the electoral map. But in the end, I don't think these results will do much to sway superdelegates much when it comes to declaring support for once all states have voted. But I would hope that the Obama campaign is taking these results to heart and is perhaps coming to the same conclusion that I have: that if they really want to achieve electoral transformation, putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket is probably the best way to achieve it.

Update [2008-5-28 18:30:0 by Todd Beeton]:I fast-forwarded through much of yesterday's Hardball but a friend of mine tells me that Chuck Todd's theory is that because McCain and Obama have been trading barbs lately, their negatives are driving up, allowing Clinton to skate unscathed. That's a pretty difficult theory to stick to, it seems to me, after the last several days, but it might have some merit.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, general election, Hillary Clinton, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

219 Comments

Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

http://electoral-vote.com/evp2004/may/ma y28.html

Placing your faith in polls 6 months before the election is the last refuge of fools, buffoons and the odd ignoramus.

by terra 2008-05-28 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Polls five months from the election are incredibly unreliable, except compared to all the other ways we could analyze electability.

by steveinohio 2008-05-28 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re:

"But I would hope that the Obama campaign is taking these results to heart and is perhaps coming to the same conclusion that I have: that if they really want to achieve electoral transformation, putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket is probably the best way to achieve it."

Todd, you flat out Rock. I totally agree. Thank you!

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-28 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re:

Clinton/Obama is the winning ticket.

by Caldonia 2008-05-28 01:52PM | 0 recs
Absolutely

and it's so good to see you around again, as with so many others from the 'old place'. I was taking a break from the internet (read that abuse, lol) when the strike occurred, and had no clue what happened to you all until recently :)

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-28 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely

Right back at ya, phoenix!  It's like a family reunion.  :)

by Caldonia 2008-05-28 02:31PM | 0 recs
That's generous of you

But Obama has already said no thanks.

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-05-28 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: That's generous of you

Oh, I see. Well if you see him in November, please tell him I appreciate the offer also, but no thanks back.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-28 05:25PM | 0 recs
Please just disregard my comment

I believe I misconstrued yours, sorry.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-28 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Yep...just keep chuggin' da Kool-Aid....

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Cl inton/Maps/May28.html

vs.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Ob ama/Maps/May28.html

and:

http://hominidviews.com/?p=1563

vs.

http://hominidviews.com/?p=1560

The last two are Monte Carlo simulations. Dont' know what that is? Gee...

Then look at the top of the page. This page.

But of course this is too far out to be meaningful. Never mind that this is where Senator Barky has been all along.

Losing in the GE.

.

by Pericles 2008-05-28 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

This defies no conventional wisdom. It all makes sense. She's lost the nomination, so none of Obama's supporters have any problem admitting they would vote for her over McCain. The opposite is not true. That, and Hillary has not been attacked at all for weeks. Obama has been taking it from Clinton, McCain, and the RNC.

CW tells us that this is Obama's low point, Clinton and McCain's high points in terms of GW polling.

As for puting her on the ticket, there is absolutely no evidence that combining two candidates with different strengths equals a stronger ticket. They both have weak points, adding them puts their weaknesses together as well.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-05-28 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

That, and Hillary has not been attacked at all for weeks.

- Funny I thought she was being accused of stoking assassination for the past week

by lori 2008-05-28 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

She's the one doing the attacking.  Just like the above poster said.

by sweet potato pie 2008-05-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Do you really think that's an issue that matters to General Election voters?

Not to mention, Obama and his campaign refused to jump on it, calling it an unfortunate comment (which is what a gaffe is) and nothing else.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-05-28 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Not to mention, Obama and his campaign refused to jump on it, calling it an unfortunate comment (which is what a gaffe is) and nothing else.

... except for that they then sent out copies of Keith Olbermann's apoplectic special comment to the entire press corps.

Classy move.

by Inky 2008-05-28 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

... except for that they then sent out copies of Keith Olbermann's apoplectic special comment to the entire press corps.

Cite?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-28 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

SEELYE (5/26/08): Shortly after Mrs. Clinton spoke on Friday, the Obama campaign jumped on the story, sending an e-mail message to reporters saying her comment had no place in a presidential campaign. It linked to a online report in The New York Post that said Mrs. Clinton was ''making an odd comparison between the dead candidate and Robert Kennedy--a phrase the newspaper later dropped.!

http://dailyhowler.com/index.shtml

But then, Stephanopoulos also got it right when he challenged Obama chief strategist David Axelrod. He began with a question about Hillary's Clinton's recent reference to Robert Kennedy. Axelrod didn't quite answer:

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Clinton campaign clearly thinks that the Obama campaign are part of that group that is deliberately misinterpreting her statements. And in fact, your campaign's original statement on Friday afternoon said that Senator Clinton made an unfortunate statement that has no place in this campaign. Do you think it would have been better to give her the benefit of the doubt?

AXELROD: Well, in fact, she--a few minutes after we issued that statement seemed to say she herself felt it was unfortunate and was misinterpreted. We accepted that, as Senator Obama said yesterday. She said, you know, that's not what she meant, and we take her at her word and, you know, it's--we're beyond that issue now, so certainly we're not trying to stir the issue up.

Hmmm--that's wasn't quite an answer. So Stephanopoulos tried again, two more times:

STEPHANOPOULOS (continuing directly): Senator Obama did say that we should move on. You say you're not trying to stir the issue up. But a member of your press staff yesterday was sending around to an entire press list, I have the e-mail here. Keith Olbermann's searing commentary against Hillary Clinton. So that is stirring this up, isn't it?

AXELROD: Well, Mr Olbermann did his commentary and he had his opinion. But as far as we're concerned--

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your campaign was sending it around.

AXELROD: As far as we're concerned, George, as far as we're concerned, this issue is done. It was an unfortunate statement, as we said. As she's acknowledged. She has apologized. The apology, you know, is accepted. Let's move forward.

He even tried a different fourth question. No direct answer there, either:

STEPHANOPOULOS (continuing directly): So your campaign won't be sending around any more commentaries like that?

AXELROD: As I said, as far as we're concerned this is--this issue is done. There's so many important things going on in this country right now, George, that people are interested in that we're not going to spend days dwelling on this.

Should Obama's campaign have done what it did? Different people will have different views. But Axelrod never quite answered that original question. Stephanopoulos was right to keep asking.

http://dailyhowler.com/dh052708.shtml

by mdana 2008-05-28 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Thank you for posting that.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-28 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Can't we all be adults here? Yes, she took some flak for that. Are you prepared for six months of the Republicans hammering her on everything Bill did for eight years? Cause that's what will happen. By the time they are finished, the average voter will think Hillary married Satan himself.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

just pointed out a contradiction.

by lori 2008-05-28 12:45PM | 0 recs
well...

i'm not sure i agree with your assessment about hillary being attacked for her bizarre reference to rfk, what we can say is that this poll was largely conducted before she said that.

by bored now 2008-05-28 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: well...

Does this include states like Kentucky? If so, it's irrelevant. Of course she does better there than Obama does. But Obama makes no claim that Kentucky is on his path to victory. The swing states that Hillary won are:

OH, PA, NM, NH, NV and the disputed primaries in MI and FL.

The swing states Obama won are:

MN, WI, IA, MO, OR, WA, VA, CO and NC.

If the swing state poll is restricted to these states then it's meaningful.

by elrod 2008-05-28 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: well...

Hillary is doing better in:

OH, PA, NM, NH, NV, FL and MI winning all those states Obama is not winning in FL, MI, NV, NH and doing worse in the others than Clinton

Obama is doing better in MN,IA, WI, OR, VA, and CO. VA and CO are the only one Obama leads and Clinton doesn't.

Clinton is doing better winning in MO, KY, WV and NC, OBama is losing all four at the moment.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: well...

i was using the graph to provide the dates over which this poll was conducted.  to answer your question, though:

"In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking by 50% to 43%. In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%."

you can find the whole analysis here.

by bored now 2008-05-28 02:16PM | 0 recs
No, she wasn't being accused

She simply got reported in the news.

An ATTACK is when a candidate from the other side keeps bringing up a dead topic to revive it in news cycles.  Things like

"But what about Rezko?"

"And he knows Bill Ayars."

"I would NEVER be BITTER."

"And if that man were MY pastor..."

Had Senator Obama attacked and provided even half of the negative news cycles Hillary created, she would have been destroyed months ago.  Yes, she has had it easy, other than from her own foot, in the past few weeks.

by Eman 2008-05-28 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

This is all a moot point since Barack Obama has won the nomination and will be going onto the general election.

by Andre X 2008-05-28 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength
Is this the new talking point? All together now:
"This is all a moot point since Barack Obama has won the nomination and will be going onto the general election"
by muggle 2008-05-28 11:29PM | 0 recs
The GOP has laid off Hillary for the past 3 months

I really think that's all it comes down to: Obama's been getting it from all sides, while the GOP shifted their fire from Hillary to Obama months ago - and indeed has been somewhat supportive of her.

That's finally been sinking in over the past month.  It would be just the reverse if Obama were the one trailing, and Hillary was about to wrap up the nomination.

Hell, it was the reverse just a few months back, when Hillary still looked like the favorite.

If one boat is sailing into a headwind while the other has a tailwind, the boat with the tailwind may well seem to be the faster boat.  But the boat we choose, whichever one it is, will have to sail into the headwind.

If we chose that boat on the basis of its speed with a tailwind, that would be kinda dumb.

by RT 2008-05-28 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Common sense, having some sense of the American electorate, and paying attention to how the last few elections have gone (as well as my gut instinct, which is  based on the above matters)has always told me, anyway, that Clinton can beat McCain while Obama cannot, even though I personally prefer Obama's politics in theory over Clintons while thinking she is more capable.

I do think Democrats are repeating a mistake. The one factor that is different this time around, though, is the disillusionment with Republicans. If Obama is the nominee, I pray to God that it's enough ,because it's the only way he can win.

by Juno 2008-05-28 12:35PM | 0 recs
How did Obama win the primaries?

The votere sick of republican--lite?

by lojasmo 2008-05-28 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

It doesn't matter how strong she is nationally. Its over and done. Its because of the angry and BITTER Clinton supporters wont support Obama that he is losing. Once he becomes the official nominee next week. He will get a bounce, and then Mccain will be looking at his butt.

by Sylden37 2008-05-28 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Naw, it's because angry and bitter Obama supporters won't concede -- despite OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE --- that he'll get his clock cleaned against McCain in November.

Hillary is our strongest and best chance of beating McCain in the General Election.

by KnowVox 2008-05-28 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

We disagree on the evidence. It is clear to me that either one of them would win, if the party can avoid shooting ourselves in the collective foot.

I think you under estimate the backlash she would experience should certain groups fell that the nomination was stolen from their candidate. I think you also underestimate what six months of every Clinton scandal replayed in an endless loop by the Republican attack machine would do to the electorate. Against Clinton, John McCain actually becomes the anti-establishment candidate.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

The "endless" GOP attacks on the Clintons scandals resulted in a 65+% approval rating for Bill when he left office.  

Obama's negatives are already near 50%.

by steveinohio 2008-05-28 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Linky?
by Crookd River Progressive 2008-05-28 01:40PM | 0 recs
by mdana 2008-05-28 02:12PM | 0 recs
Hillary has none of the charisma strengths of Bill

Bill Clinton has ALWAYS had higher approval ratings (and lower disapproval ratings) than Hillary.

The problem is that Hillary has little or none of the teflon charisma of her husband. The only way she was able to deflect criticism in the primary was to play the passive-aggressive victim card. That helped to rally older white Democratic women, who are essential elements in the Democratic Party. But in a general election, complaints about rampant sexism will go nowhere.

by elrod 2008-05-28 01:48PM | 0 recs
Obama's negatives are 38%

Clinton's ARE 50%

by lojasmo 2008-05-28 01:56PM | 0 recs
Since Hillary's negatives are above 50%

I guess that rules her out then doesn't it

by xenontab 2008-05-28 01:57PM | 0 recs
Since Hillary's negatives are above 50 percent

I guess that rules her out then doesn't it

by xenontab 2008-05-28 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I think you under estimate the backlash she would experience should certain groups fell that the nomination was stolen from their candidate.

I think you underestimate the backlash Obama will experience among WOMEN if they feel their votes don't count, the party is disenfranchising them, and Hillary's nomination has been stolen despite willing the popular vote and OVERWHLMING evidence that she's the best candidate against McCain.

by KnowVox 2008-05-28 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength
Huh. Funny how I'm a woman, and I'm not seeing the overwhelming evidence. In fact, what I'm seeing is that she came in as a highly favored frontrunner and still managed to botch up her first election effort this season. Outside of the swirling echochamber that is MyDD and the offices of Emily's List and a few other places, I think you'll find you can't stereotype the reaction of women voters quite as easily as you imply. Some women look at Hillary, see her comparing Florida to the 2000 recount/slavery/civil rights/ and freaking ZIMBABWE, and we wonder what happened to the competent, funny, powerful Hillary we thought we knew, back when we were thinking of voting for her.
by travelerkaty 2008-05-28 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Huh.  Funny how I'm a woman, and I'm not seeing the overwhelming evidence.

In fact, what I'm seeing is that she came in as a highly favored frontrunner and still managed to botch up her first election effort this season.

Outside of the swirling echochamber that is MyDD and the offices of Emily's List and a few other places, I think you'll find you can't stereotype the reaction of women voters quite as easily as you imply.  Some women look at Hillary, see her comparing Florida to the 2000 recount/slavery/civil rights/ and freaking ZIMBABWE, and we wonder what happened to the competent, funny, powerful Hillary we thought we knew, back when we were thinking of voting for her.

by travelerkaty 2008-05-28 02:10PM | 0 recs
not at all...

i understand that you're not really familiar with political campaigns, but your concerns are already factored into any campaign's analysis of their ge vote.

the fact is that obama already garners the same slice of a larger democratic electorate as bill clinton did in november 1992 (85% of self-identified democrats).  there is no question that there are feminists who are distressed by hillary's poor performance in this primary (especially since she sold herself as inevitable, raising expectations to ridiculously high levels).

since you have failed to provide your super secret "overwhelming evidence" that hillary's the best candidate against mccain -- especially after she's run one of the worst campaign's in presidential history! -- we'll have to assume that you alone are capable of understanding your super secret evidence.  i'd imagine that if it was really that overwhelming, you'd be eager to share it with the rest of the world...

by bored now 2008-05-28 02:21PM | 0 recs
feel free to provide this...

"overwhelming evidence" you speak of.  i'm sure we would all be interested in it.  i'd love to see evidence that not only supports your contention but mitigates hillary's historic highs in her negatives for a non-incumbent, one of (if not) the most poorly managed campaigns in history, her enormous debts (especially given that mccain runs substantially in the black), etc.  i wonder why we haven't seen this "overwhelming evidence" and why are you hiding it from everyone?

or do you have to be a hillarycrat to see it?

by bored now 2008-05-28 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

No credible evidence whatsoever of that premise.

by applejackking 2008-05-28 01:12PM | 0 recs
OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE!!!

Sorry, but typing in all caps doesn't make your BS any more convincing.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-28 02:01PM | 0 recs
it might to him...

it's possible...

by bored now 2008-05-28 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Well, I know you just won me over.

Not.

No, it's because Obama can get a bazillion votes among liberals but he can't get that white blue-collar southerner/Bible Belt-er, and Clinton FINALLY broke into that group for Democrats and got them back, for which she was pilloried.

This is the thing that routinely does Democrats in.

by Juno 2008-05-28 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You don't honestly think those people in Appalacia would vote for Clinton over McCain? They wouldn't vote for Obama because he was brown skinned and had a funny name yet you think they're going to pick a woman over the old white guy?

by Skex 2008-05-28 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You don't honestly think every voter in Appalacia is poor, stupid and racist, do you? Obama got beat -- resoundly -- fair and square on issues that have absolutely nothing to do with his ethnicity.  Stop making excuses for him.

by KnowVox 2008-05-28 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Bullshit, Those people voted on his race pure and simple.

Hell when I saw the polling in advance of the Ky and WV races I said those are the two more racist states in the Union. No where else was the split that lopsided in Clinton's favor but Arkasas.

Hell he ran dead even in Texas which isn't exactly considered a bastion of tolerance and liberalism yet only gets in the 20s in WV and people want to pretend that Racism didn't have anything to do with it.

Get real.

by Skex 2008-05-28 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

OK, you wanna talk race?

Nine of Obama's 17 primary wins are in states with a percentage of African-Americans much higher than the national average and only two of those states, Delaware and Maryland, are reliably Democratic. In the other 7 states Democrats are a distinct minority and as many as half of each states Democrats are African-American. Only 4 of his other primary wins are in reliably Democratic states. Two are swing states and one is deep red.

by KnowVox 2008-05-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength
What is your argument here?
Seriously I don't understand how the quote in question is relevant to the question of KY and WV where Racism had an obvious and pronounced affect.
by Skex 2008-05-28 07:14PM | 0 recs
No one is making any excuses for Obama in KY

He was resoundingly defeated.  Absolutely.  By the "hard working WHITE" voters to which Hillary pandered so effectively.  No they are all not racist - only 20% of them so identified.

Of those 20% who admitted race was their issue, the vote went 9 out of 10 for Hillary.  

You can dream if you wish, but they wouldn't have gone 9 out of 10 for Hillary over McCain.  Fortunately we won't have to find out.

But please try to put your joy over Appalachia in proper perspective: In Philadelphia alone Senator Obama had more votes than Hillary's recent spectacle in KY.

by Eman 2008-05-28 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Uhm, she "got them back" against another democrat. That says nothing whatsoever about getting them back against McCain.

Kerry won those states by large margin in 2004 too. Lot of good that did him in the general against Bush.

by Yalin 2008-05-28 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

That's why Hillary won arch-liberal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California and New York. But Obama won Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, Idaho, Maine, Utah and other bastions of arch liberalism.

No, Hillary started pretending she was the candidate for blue-collar whites when she saw that was the only way to hold on to Ohio. She exploited cultural fears and turned herself into a pariah figure among African Americans by bragging about winning hard working white voters.

by elrod 2008-05-28 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I have lived in VA, KS, and CA.  Do you realize what makes up the Dem primary or caucus voters in those "bastions of arch liberalism" states?  The biggest Marxists and socialists (nothing wrong with it, I am one) I ever met were the activists of the Kansas Dem party.  The really liberal/progressives are all that are left, because many of the Scoop Jackson, Sam Nunn democrats left the party or aren't as active in the primary season anymore.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

But the fact remains that the polls do test apples to apples and one must wonder why...Hillary Clinton continues to out-perform Barack Obama against John McCain fairly dramatically....it would appear to pour a big bucket of cold water on the claims that Barack was the one who would transform the electoral map.

Nailed it, Todd!

by KnowVox 2008-05-28 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

they both seem to transform it at this stage of the game. In different ways.

shouldn't be a point that any democrat argues at this stage of the game.

by alex100 2008-05-28 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I really have trouble seeing how Obama has any shot at winning the election if he puts Hillary on the ticket, for 2 reasons:

  1. It will appear as though he was blackmailed into it.  He'll look very weak.
  2. From now until election day, the rightwing and its media acolytes will simply rerun the best of Clinton on Obama.  She's said he didn't pass the CIC test, "shame on Barack Obama", he's an elitist, etc.  

As an additional point, Edwards polled stronger as Obama's veep in Michigan than Clinton did in the most recent SUSA poll.  That, to my knowledge, is the only time the two have been tested against each other.

by bosdcla14 2008-05-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Another huge reason:

The core selling point of Obama's candidacy is that he can credibly claim that he is an agent of change practicing a new kind of politics.  In this election year, where the American people are incredibly dissatfied with the state of the nation, that's an indispensible asset, and having Hillary Clinton on the ticket undercuts that argument.

I think Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is perhaps the best person to carry this kind of message with Obama.  Having worked on his successful gubernatorial campaign, I watched his opponent hurl all the same arguments Republicans have been using against Democrats the past 25 years -- he's a criminal coddler (Kaine opposes capital punishment), he supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, etc.  Yet even in conservative Old Dominion, which executes the second largest number of inmates, Kaine prevailed, and did so convincingly.  Tim Kaine represents the new kind of politics, which highlights Barack Obama's core message.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Another huge reason:

Yes! Edwards will be a sure-fire VP candidate, and will guarantee to create empathy for an otherwise aloof-seeming nominee.  Just ask President Kerry.

by steveinohio 2008-05-28 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Another huge reason:
I think you're exactly right that 2004 should be taken into account.  A few thoughts on that:
  1. Obama's "brand" is change.  Edwards reinforces change.  Kerry's brand wasn't as clear, but it was probably closer to competency/seriousness.  I don't really see Edwards as reinforcing that (not saying he's incompetent or not serious, just that isn't what you first think of re Edwards).  
  2. Edwards was an OK veep candidate in 2004.  I'd think that knowing the pitfalls would make him a better one this year.
  3. Edwards' critique in 2008 was much sharper than in 2004.  He's thus more suited to the traditional VP role of attack dog.  
  4. SUSA's been polling Edwards as Veep, and he polls very strongly (for example, better than Rendell in PA).  So your point, although made ironically, is apparently true.  
by bosdcla14 2008-05-28 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Another huge reason:

3. Except he won't ever really attack.  He thinks optimism sells, and he was not a team player in 2004 according to both sides of the ticket.  I don't think he has changed and he has stated no interest in the job.

He has stated interest in the AG role, which I think fits him much better.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Another huge reason:

Too many people - especially the supposed target audience, lower-income voters - associate Edwards with the $400 haircut.  Edwards' ability to attract these voters is a myth.  He basically spent the 2004 campaign in Appalachia and didn't manage to carry a single state.  Not to mention North Carolina.

by steveinohio 2008-05-28 03:44PM | 0 recs
i don't know why this is a surprise...

hillary essentially has no competition, so her numbers should move up.  and it shouldn't matter who polls, this should be a consistent finding.  given the fact that the country seems to accept that the fall matchup will be obama v mccain, hillary gets a pass.

gallup's regular poll remains instructive:

Clinton    |    Fav    Unfav    Unsure
5/1-3/08    52     45     3

Obama    |    Fav    Unfav    NevHd    Unsure
5/1-3/08    58     37     1     4

McCain    |    Fav    Unfav    Unsure
5/1-3/08    62     30     8    

hillary's negatives continue to track in a tight range far above that known by mccain and obama.  we can concede that she runs very well when no one is really running against her, but we also see the signs of why she lost the democratic primary.

personally, i can't imagine why anyone would want her on the ticket unless she can significantly reduce her negatives below her historic range...

by bored now 2008-05-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: i don't know why this is a surprise...

This data is almost a month old.  If you look at Rasmussen, Obama's negatives are just as high as Hillary's.  That's not necessarily an argument for putting her on the ticket.  But there's a lot of data at this point which suggests that the two really don't differ significantly in terms of favorability at this point.

by Fuzzy Dunlop 2008-05-28 01:02PM | 0 recs
i prefer gallup because it has a long history...

of polling and it allows us to compare candidates over a long period of time.  otoh, i am not comfortable with rasmussen's polling history and methodology.  given his consistent overestimates of barack's negatives (we're not even talking about him being an outlier -- no one has ever come close to his results in this area), i wouldn't even consider rasmussen's results.  i'll stick with more credible polling organizations...

by bored now 2008-05-28 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: i don't know why this is a surprise...

Rasmussen has ALWAYS had higher negatives for Obama. I don't know why that is - maybe they ask the question differently. But when other pollsters were showing Obama's disapproval rating in the low 20s, Rasmussen had it around 46. Note how little it has budged over the year in the Rasmussen poll.

by elrod 2008-05-28 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: i don't know why this is a surprise...

This is true, although Obama's negatives have gradually climbed up over time.  I think part of it is that they push people harder.  Whereas gallup often shows a significant undecided population, especially with newer politicians, Rasmussen has very few undecideds.

There are pros and cons to pushing people.  But I wouldn't dismiss Rasmussen's results out of hand.  Gallup might have a longer history but Rasmussen is a very respected polling firm in its own right and, in aggregate, has done very well this electoral cycle at least in terms of their polling error.

by Fuzzy Dunlop 2008-05-28 03:27PM | 0 recs
again, i reiterate that rasmussen is a ...

significant outlier on obama.  no other -- not a single one -- confirms his findings on barack's negatives:

Newsweek Poll:
Date    Fav    Unfav    NevHd    Unsure
5/21-22/08    55     40     1     4

CBS News/NY Times Poll:
Date    Fav    Unfav    Und    NevHd    Unsure
5/1-3/08    44     30     20     6     0

USA Today/Gallup Poll:
Date    Fav    Unfav    NevHd    Unsure
5/1-3/08    58     37     1     4

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll:
Date    Fav    Unfav    NevHd    Unsure
4/28-30/08    56     38     -     5

ABC News/Washington Post  Poll:
Date    Fav    Unfav    Unsure
4/10-13/08    56     39     5

by bored now 2008-05-28 03:58PM | 0 recs
You got one thing right

The only thing the Clintons have done with any consistency in this campaign cycle is try to drive up negatives on Barack Obama.

I respect his fair play, but I would have loved to orchestrate a 36 news cycle campaign against her Bosnia lies the same way she kept pumping guilt by association.

Most pundits are quite amazed that the public isn't buying it.  This month was a blip, while Hillary's historically high negatives will continue.

I suspect that as the Paul trial gets more legs people outside politics will take care of this.

by Eman 2008-05-28 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Clinton's recent good polling against McCain hardly seems like convincing evidence that she would bring any electoral edge to Obama as his VP.  I'm not saying she wouldn't.  I'm just saying that Clinton-McCain general election polls tell us little to nothing about how a Obama-Clinton ticket would fare vs. an Obama-X ticket.

by soccerandpolitics 2008-05-28 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

The same thing happened to Bill Bradley in 2000. It almost ALWAYS happens to the losing primary candidate. Combination of lack of media focus and lower defection rate from supporters of the other candidate, who know that their pledge means nothing.

by really not a troll 2008-05-28 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Meaning ...

... Bradley polled better than Gore in GE trial heat matchups?

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Meaning ...

It's a bit hard to find polls eight years after the fact, but here's some anecdotal evidence:
http://www.insidepolitics.org/heard/hear d92999.html

A single poll, taken in Rhose Island, months before the primaries. But Bradley does do better, and it's the only poll of its type I could find.

by really not a troll 2008-05-28 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh

I was just asking for a point clarification.  That's all. :)

by Brad G 2008-05-28 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh

I know :-) I didn't assume any ill intent on your part, but wanted to do what I could to back up my assertion.

by really not a troll 2008-05-28 02:29PM | 0 recs
Not a surprise

Sen. Clinton is a better candidate today (when she is fighting for, and asking for every vote with a figurative cap in her figurative hand) than when she was the anointed one....

She was "unelectable" back then, she is not "unelectable" today!!

by SevenStrings 2008-05-28 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: She's still mortal like Obama.

There are no guarantees in politics.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: THE REALNESS....

The truth is that Hillary is the stronger G.E candidate. Also she forces McCain to fight for the rural white vote, while Obama would basically look elsewhere for votes.  The reason why she polls better is because she's the safer candidate in many American eyes.  The electorate knows what they will get with her, while Obama's experience is a major concern for many.  She's also attracting votes from white woman that would usually vote for the GOP but since she's a woman feel comfortable supporting her.  This is the honest TRUTH.  Unfortunately the Super delegates haven't gotten the memo and would rather really on some SW strategy to save us from sure electoral defeat....:(!!!

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-28 12:46PM | 0 recs
it's nice that you believe that...

of course, you can hardly be surprised that your beliefs aren't shared by the majority of delegates to the democratic convention.  they were paying attention during the primaries...

by bored now 2008-05-28 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: it's nice that you believe that...

Really, you mean when Obama started doing well in January and early Feb. the majority went for Clinton and now as Clinton is starting to do better they go en masse for Obama.

I have to see some real evidence that the sds actually want to win.  It makes their job easier to fight against McCain, than actually deal with a Democratic President with the voters expecting actual accomplishments, and such...

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: it's nice that you believe that...

Although they are shared by a majority of Democrats who voted in the primaries.

by steveinohio 2008-05-28 02:32PM | 0 recs
Devil in the details

I'd be curious to know what the cross-tabs are on the tracking polls.  Because in many states, Clinton's greater strength seems to be predicated on Obama losing more Democrats to McCain than she does.  Now, if you assume that those hard feelings will continue, I suppose such numbers have some meaning.  If, however, you assume that a healthy number of Clinton supporters will eventually support Obama, I suspect that his numbers would - and will - look a lot better.

Either way, I really wish we could stop the endless electability arguments.  Despite what some of the folks around here might say, it's pretty hard to win such arguments conclusively.  You know, since they're entirely hypothetical in nature.

 

by HSTruman 2008-05-28 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Devil in the details

There's nothing hypothetical about statistical opinion polls.

Gauging opinion to bolster an argument is valid.

What's shocking is that Obama has no counter-argument vis-a-vis electability.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-28 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Devil in the details

Sure he does:

1. He is at his low point in popularity, having suffered at the hands of both parties for months. Clinton and McCain have gotten a pass, which will change in about 6 days.

2. Obama voters are more likely to say they would vote for Clinton, because to them it doesn't matter - their candidate nearly has it locked up. If Clinton actually wins the nomination, expect her numbers among Democrats to drop - by 15 to 20%.

Essentially, the numbers measure opinion right now, and that's it. They say nothing about the GE.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Devil in the details

In addition to the response already noted above this one, I would add that both candidates win in the current GE polling.  That strikes me as a rather satisfying "electability" counter.  

by HSTruman 2008-05-28 01:03PM | 0 recs
Not only that

but to add to the above 15-20% Clinton supporters "not voting for Obama" as of today, is a self-fulfilling argument.

If you say, look at my poll information, this is proof that Hillary must be the nominee because Barack is not as electable, is pretty disingenious because it is the same as saying

"I will never vote for Barack in the GE because he cannot win the GE."

It's self-fulfilling, and this will change once the nominee is selected.

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm ...

He's not the candidate who is going to start the GE over $20 million in debt.  That worked out great for Bob Dole in 1996 when he ran out of money from the primaries.  Remember how well Bob Dole recovered after being pummelled with negative ads from Bill Clinton?

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Analysis by Obama supporter Poblano (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/) confirms these trends.  His analysis now shows Hillary with a 61.8% chance of defeating McCain, while Obama has a 51.8% chance (again, according to his analysis, which, though generally pretty objective, tends to tilt a bit in Obama's favor).  This is Hillary's strongest margin over Obama yet.  What's more, exactly one month ago today, Hillary trailed Obama in this measure by about 7%.  In other words, her chances of winning vis-a-vis Obama have increased 17% over the last month. (That's in absolute terms.  In relative terms, it has gone up much more.)

What if they go up another 17% in the next month?  Or heck, what if they only go up 5-10% in the next month and 5-10% in the month after?  What if we are approaching the convention and the chances of Hillary winning the GE are 60-70% and the chances of Obama winning the GE are 30-40%.  Again, we are not there yet, but if trends over the last month continue we certainly could get there.  Do you think that would give some Super Delegates reason to reconsider?

by markjay 2008-05-28 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

If Obama's numbers drop that much, then I expect the supers to give the nomination to Clinton, almost all African Americans to stay home, and for the Republicans to win the GE.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

A lot of "ifs" in that arguement.

If Obama has the majority of pledged delegates than the will of the people as defined by the Democratic primary should be honored over an anonymous blogger's number crunching.

by montana36 2008-05-28 01:30PM | 0 recs
No offense but

that would be Hillary's last ditch effort, to have her supporters, surrogates, special bloggers, etc., tell all the others to respond to polling as voting for McCain over Obama, that way, she'll look more/he'll look less electable and the Supers will give it to Hillary.   That would seem disingenious, wouldn't it?

Because we all know MOST (not all) Hillary supporters in the end will vote Dem because they are party before candidate, thus I do not give much weight to falsified or innaccurate polling

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Tracking polls

Todd, tracking polls are there to track a candidate's movement in the polls and not the actual vote percentage.  The sporadic Newsweek, CNN/Gallup, NBC/WSJ, Pew, etc. polls are a much better measure of where the race is than any tracking poll.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 12:47PM | 0 recs
very simple: if you want dem in White House than
nominate Hillary. and she kept saying that and Dems keep ignoring it.
If people want to lose, they will do amazing things, like supers do now.
by engels 2008-05-28 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: very simple: if you want dem in White House th

Except that's the same 'inevitable' argument she used before the Primary Campaign...how did that work out.

by JoeCoaster 2008-05-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: very simple: if you want dem in White House th

The primary and the General are two entirely different animals.

Democrats have blown it by getting all idealistic, to the point of deafness and blindness.

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: very simple: if you want dem in White House th

I sacrificed my idealism for pragmatism in 2004. NEVER AGAIN.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 01:22PM | 0 recs
Another point to mention

is that, per Rasmussen, Obama's favorability ratings are now essentially identical to Hillary's, and that a slightly greater proportion of the population (35%) actually has a "very unfavorable" view of him than of Hillary (32%).  He's a polarizing figure at this point, just like her, and if he wins it will most likely be closer to a 50%+1 type of scenario than a landslide.

Personally I think that Hillary is the stronger candidate for various reasons, but ultimately its not going to matter because the difference in their strength as candidates is not large enough to make supers switch.  Obama is far from unelectable, and is almost certainly a favorite to win.

by Fuzzy Dunlop 2008-05-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Putting Hillary on the ticket would be the only way to ensure my vote for his ticket.

But his haters will never let it happen because she's too yucky for him (rolls eyes).

It's pretty crazy that she is bashed over the head again and again by everyone in the media and she has such a strong core base that won't leave her.

Too bad Obama has done nothing to try to win over her voters in any meaningful way. I think Obamanation hopes she'll do a big rally with him and tell her supporters to love Obama and we'll all just swoon to him.

Heh...

by GregNYC 2008-05-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

No, we don't think you'll swoon to him. I honestly expect many of you to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Some of you are smart enough to realize what is at stake, and that your candidate lost fair and square, and that you should do the right thing. I just hope there are enough of you.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 01:02PM | 0 recs
Yep, that's the question

How many Clinton supporters care about the country, and how many care more about their hurt fee-fees like GregNYC here.

by JJE 2008-05-28 01:10PM | 0 recs
win over her voters...

It's really Hillary's responsibility to undo all that damage she has done to Obama (with her hard core supporters). Until (and if) Hillary gives them permission to support Obama they will be a lost cause.

by JoeCoaster 2008-05-28 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You're in NYC eh Greg? Your abstaining won't count anyway. ;)

NY is going blue with or without you :)

by Yalin 2008-05-28 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

A deflated margin will matter.

And from what I hear he has a lot of work to do.

by GregNYC 2008-05-28 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You think NY would have a deflated margin with the minority community here? Heh. Think again. :)

by Yalin 2008-05-28 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You think the minority community is the total Democratic vote?

And we all know Obama has been doing so well with Latinos or Asians. LOL.

I didn't say he wouldn't win the state - I said a deflated margin. Skim some from Latinos, Asians, Catholics and - most obviously - Jewish voters - and you have an embarrassing post November election day.

by GregNYC 2008-05-28 11:11PM | 0 recs
I don't know about that...

in your dream land Hillary wins the Nomination at the convention....BUT

the real problem is going to get people to vote for Hillary if she is the Nominee, because a primary won is good form, a primary stolen is unexcuseable.  I am not too scared about the upset Hillary supporters threatening to not vote for Obama, they'll come around.  

If not, then screw them for Bush III.  And for the record, I don't think Obama could do anything to win over any disappointed Hillary supporters at this point, but hopefully, they'll just hold their noses and vote for democratic ideals.

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength
This place makes me tired. Lordy, I can't wait until next week. Or are we going to be treated to 6 solid months of Obama is Unelectable And The Democrats Made A Terrible Mistake diaries? Yes, these polls look great for Clinton, but these particular polls are even more hypothetical than usual, because even though not everyone is a high-info poll responder, I would guess that the majority of Americans are aware that Hillary isn't going to be winning the primary. Not to mention that she's been ignored from all sides for the last month, giving her a bit of an advantage. So sure, I'll say I'd vote for Hillary. What do I have to lose? She's not in the race anyway. No need to say 'undecided', which is common during these transition times, if I know it's a fake question anyway.
by travelerkaty 2008-05-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

"are we going to be treated to 6 solid months of Obama is Unelectable And The Democrats Made A Terrible Mistake diaries?"

You'll be seeing them on Jan. 20, 2009 as Obama is being sworn in.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:21PM | 0 recs
Have Hillary and her folks ever heard of....

trying TOO hard, and being TOO obvious?

But subtlety is something Hillary Inc. has lacked since day one.

I mean, Obama is going to have to turn her down just so he doesn't look like he's caving in to demand -- which would be the first thing out of the GOP attack machine.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 12:57PM | 0 recs
which would add to the

Obambi references...Oh yeah, how hard would you laugh if Romney was going around saying Obama is CiC material but not McCain, and now he was on the ticket as VP...I would repeat that until November...so no thank you Hillary, you ruined your VP shot with that one

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Do you really think that if the Dem Party would now take away Obama's nomination and hand it to Clinton based on polls that you wouldn't see a drop in her numbers so precipitous it would make your head spin?  

by Piuma 2008-05-28 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

So then Obamans would be bitter and angry?

Think Electoral College. That is all that mattersin the General.

by Juno 2008-05-28 12:59PM | 0 recs
And you don't win it

by telling blacks to go f themselves.

by JJE 2008-05-28 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Taking the position you have despite your bitterness makes me respect you all the more. I'm glad we are on the same side Juno.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

It is not Obama's nomination it is the Party's nomination.

This is the party of Democrats.  It is not the party of Obama.

The party does take away one's nomination, it grants  it and it won't be granted to any candidate until August.

by wblynch 2008-05-28 01:11PM | 0 recs
the party of Democrats

I hope Hillary remembers that in the days to come. If she takes her fight all the way to August then Democrats will know it was all about HER the whole time (as many of us suspect).

by JoeCoaster 2008-05-28 01:15PM | 0 recs
we really need to prepare for hillary storming out

of the party.  the clinton legacy has been so badly damaged by this primary that they really have nothing to lose.  and politicians who have nothing to lose are dangerous.  the hillarycrats will call it courage...

by bored now 2008-05-28 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: we really need to prepare for hillary storming

How is it possible that the Clinton legacy has been so badly damaged by running against a non-divisive unifier?

Hmmm...

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:25PM | 0 recs
i have no thoughts on this right now...

i don't generally do post-election analysis until after the election is over and i have been able to get a lot more feedback...

by bored now 2008-05-28 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: we really need to prepare for hillary storming

i think you're saying that because Obama is running a campaign of "unity" that Clinton's legacy shouldn't be damaged due to his message and campaign style.

that's a highly flawed position to take.

Clinton for the most part is an extremely gracious person. But from my perspective, the reason why I'm currently sick of her was self-inflicted and not a product of Obama attacking her in any way or form.

If the right-wing wasn't so prevalent in the U.S. when she became president, and if she didn't move to the right as a senator (to ready herself for the presidency), if she didn't vote for the Iraq war , if she wasn't talking silly about Iran and if Penn didn't tear out every shred of humanity that she possessed we wouldn't be talking about a "damaged" legacy.

But even all those things were things I could have forgiven her for as a president if she had proceeded with more dignity and honesty.

Her current pitch to win the nominee isn't much but a flame-out that seems rather petty and sad from my POV. Some of you may share her position on why she should stay in it (and she should if that's what she feels is best for our nation's future) and some of you might even agree with her campaign actions as we move this thing forward. I don't. If Obama was in the same position I wouldn't hesitate to call him out on such inconsistent behavior and devisive approaches.

by alex100 2008-05-28 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: we really need to prepare for hillary storming

meant to say "when she became senator". obviously.

by alex100 2008-05-28 01:53PM | 0 recs
hmm...

sorry, that's not my position.  i'm not arguing that her legacy should or should not be damaged, but that the perception exists among even her supporters that i've talked to recently that it is damaged.  i don't disagree with anything else you wrote...

by bored now 2008-05-28 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: we really need to prepare for hillary storming

Lol.  Love your sig as you say Obamans have not been divisive!

Wow.

Accusing non racists of race baiting and racism is about as divisive as you can get, IMO.

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: we really need to prepare for hillary storming

what exactly is your point?

I'm originally an edwards supporter. I just happened upon Obama because of Hillary's campaign style. but even if I was for Obama from teh beginning, my personal ethos isn't one of unity nor would it have ever been.

and regarding your racism remark, would you say that accusing someone of sexism is also a divisive tactic? Just curious.

by alex100 2008-05-28 07:37PM | 0 recs
it won't be granted to any candidate until August.

Poiliticans responsible for themselves and their party can't have such a starry-eyed outlook. The fact is, next week Obama will have enough delegates for the nomination and the remaining supers will know it and go along.

Hillary's only option will be to act responsibly or play Don Quixote to the bitter end.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Obama hasn't been nominated, but his it's nomination.

Sigh.

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

It's the way it's always worked. Name one nominee in this generation who was required to wait until the convention to be acknowledged the nominee. When you get the most delegates, it's yours.

Obama, to his credit, has realized this and is now campaigning against Bush/McCain.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Name one who didn't wrap it up by the last primary?  I think Mondale had to get a few on the last day of the last primary, but that race was landslide of 3% seperating Hart and Mondale compared to this year.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You have to think like the electorate, not like how you WANT the electorate to think, and that is the mistake I think Obamans are making.

The Clintons really understand the American electorate (not a pretty picture).

Americans, including a lot of Republicans and conservatives, are very unhappy with Republicans right now, but many of these people have been programmed by the GOP to hate "liberals" more than anyone or anything.

Obama is easily portrayed as weak and a radical liberal to these people.

Clinton has managed to position herself as more center than Obama and therefore an alternative to electing a Republican again, which people really do not want, but not a radical liberal.

This is why she's run the campaign she's run, was correct to do so, why she is so intent of staying in(I think she firmly believes Obama cannot win the General and that she can), and why Democrats have been egregiously wrong in attacking her for it.

They knew what they were doing.

by Juno 2008-05-28 12:58PM | 0 recs
Wrong!

"You have to think like the electorate, not like how you WANT the electorate to think, and that is the mistake I think Obamans are making."

You have to convince the electorate to think like YOU. It's called leadership and it's what the Democratic Party lacked for many long years under Clinton/DLC hegemony.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

Well, this makes no sense, because every time I note that Obama hasn't been able to influence his own supporters to change and not engage in divisive politics, I'm told that they don't count because they are not Obama, that it's not Obama being nasty to Clinton, etc.

so which is it?  Do you influence the electorate or not?

But you're wrong about being able to influence those more conservative voters to come round to thinking like you do. Again, this is what gets Democrats in trouble every time.

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

"very time I note that Obama hasn't been able to influence his own supporters to change and not engage in divisive politics"

If that's your criteria, then Clinton has failed to convince her followers to forgo divisive politics. Unless you want to admit that Hillary has actually succeeded in fanning divisiveness in her follwers.

"But you're wrong about being able to influence those more conservative voters to come round to thinking like you."

It's foolish to think everyone can be convinced. Let the Republicans have "the more conservative voters" and lose.
Let Obama convince the rest and win.

But you ducked the essential point of my comment that trying to think like voters is what got Democrats perceived as being weak and pandering over many years.

After the 2004 election Bill Clinton said, "It's better to be strong and wrong than weak and right." But in this case, Obama is strong and right. It's too bad it never occured to the Clintons that Hillary could be strong and right instead of obsequiously going along with the very worst of Bush's agenda.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

Clinton isn't running on ending divisive polics and inspiration.

Obama is.

His supporters have a real disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality on this point.

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

"Clinton isn't running on ending divisive polics and inspiration."

Just one reason she lost.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

Freespeechzone, aren't you the one who told me to shut up earlier?

Another obaman has suggested I not be allowed to post on this site.

That's Obaman change and lack of division for you.

Anddivisiveness is NOT why Clinton is trailing Obama.

Indeed, Obama's divisiveness is a la the bogus cries of racism and race baiting. Without it, he wouldn't be in front.

Ironic ,huh?

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

"Freespeechzone, aren't you the one who told me to shut up earlier?"

No. I gave you some good advice: when you're only hurting your case, stop talking. You've obviously chosen to not just ignore it, but to misrepresent it as well.

"And divisiveness is NOT why Clinton is trailing Obama"

It was you who pointed out that Clinton is not running a campaign to end divisiveness. I merely agreed and added that it's one reason she lost.

Here's some more good advice: Stop conflating Obama with some anonymous bloggers who rub you the wrong way.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

Obamans really do remind me of Bush supporters.

Very depressing.

Yes, you told me to shut up. And that's a quote.

by Juno 2008-05-28 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

"Obamans really do remind me of Bush supporters. Very depressing."

I suspect your obsession with "Obamans" is actually just the manifestation a much deeper mental problem.

"Yes, you told me to shut up. And that's a quote."

No proof. No link. But at least no bogus quotation marks this time.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 04:56PM | 0 recs
Please quit saying Obaman

it's quite insulting.  And calm down, you're being hysterical

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong!

This is a very good point, though I do think we need a combination of clear-eyed pragmatism about the electorate and leadership from the nominee, the party, and the other elected officials.

It could be noted that the fact that the electorate is (purportedly) afraid of 'liberals' did not happen in a vacuum.  The GOP made a concerted effort, over many years, to instill that feeling into the average American voter.

Fortunately, they've pissed away their credibility over the last 8 years, so I have very high hopes for a successful Obama campaign.

by travelerkaty 2008-05-28 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Everything Bill Clinton said in South Dakota was true.  Honestly Bill Clinton knows this countries demographics like the back of his hand.  He knows Hillary could win the general, while with Obama it's going to be a lot harder.  

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-28 12:59PM | 0 recs
Right, this is cold disinterested analysis

from Bill Clinton.  No personal stake here at all.  And this man knows this country so well he never got a majority of the vote.

by JJE 2008-05-28 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

Hillary is mortal, too.  And she starts the GE over $20 million in debt whereas Barack Obama starts the GE $40 million in the black.

Remember in 1996 when Bill Clinton pummelled Bob Dole in the early stages of the GE to define Dole?  Dole never seemed to recover.  That could happen to Hillary.

As a dominant figure in the Democratic party the last 15 years, Hillary also lacks a compelling case that she is an agent of change.  In this election, that's an indispensible asset, and Barack Obama can credibly claim that narrative.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

Really?

How?

What has Obama changed?

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

What has Obama changed?  The death penalty system in IL.  The health care system in IL.

He also has never brought up any of the Clinton pardons, scandals, etc.  Nor has he tried to play the victim card for political advantage as extensively as Hillary Clinton has.  He represents a new kind of politics.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

ROFL!!

Yeah, right.

And don't say "death penalty in Ill." and health care for children.

Provide links and expound on that. How did Barack Obama change those things?  andyou think Hillary Clinton hasn't influenced or enacted any legislation???

Hmmm...

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

It wasn't his campaign that played up the RFK comments and all the insinuationa of the Clinton's playing the race card from Bill's comments on Jackson to Hillary's tears in New Hampshire being an affront to Katrina victims.  Do you folks really believe the BS you tell yourself?

The death penalty was ended by the Republican governor.  The health care system, wtf?  Illinois has one-payer like he promised in 2002?

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me?

This is exactly what I least like about the Clintons:  when they err in judgement, they can't take responsibility for their statements, and instead blame others for holding them accountable.

The Jesse Jackson quote was incredibly offensive.  How would the Clinton campaign have responded if David Axelrod said, "Liddy Dole was a good NSCC chairwoman.  She got Bob Corker to the Senate."?  They would have been appalled.

by Brad G 2008-05-28 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me?

Can you explain how offensive it exactly was?  Jesse Jackson was a respected and well liked democratic politician in the 1980s creating powerful coalitions in 1984 and especially 1988.  It was only the racist media and Obama supporters that turned it into something vile and offensive, that only people with a mental health problem or trying to play the victim card would do.  

by mdana 2008-05-29 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

Hate to be snarky, but he beat a Clinton. That hasn't happened in a while.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

That doesn't answer the question.

Americans go for celebrity and shiny objects and idol worship now.  Obama beating Clinton means nothing to me.  I thnk Americans were pretty f***ing stupid for electing Bush too.

But the question was, what is the change Obama brings?

I've not seen it.

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

He's not a Clinton or a Bush. That is the change.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 05:21PM | 0 recs
pneuma...you asked me this AM

to tell you why you should support HRC when she wins the nomination.

Please revisit your request where I have begun to post my "argument" to you in support of Senator Clinton.  More as the next day or so progresses.  Impossible to do in one comment.

by CoyoteCreek 2008-05-28 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: pneuma...you asked me this AM

Thanks for getting back to me. I look forward to reading it.

by pneuma 2008-05-28 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Except there's no guarantee.

In the General, Clinton will have more money to assess that she has stocked up for the General Election, for which she can not touch in the primaries.

by Check077 2008-05-28 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

"Honestly Bill Clinton knows this countries demographics like the back of his hand."

What Bill may know, and what he says, may be two different things. He's hardly an unbiased observer.

by Freespeechzone 2008-05-28 01:44PM | 0 recs
Maybe if I had gone to law school

i could have gotten a law degree and now I'd be a lawyer. But i didn't. And I'm not. So if I now go on and on and on about how great it would have been if this or that had happened, and then keep on imagining how great it woulda been through my rose-colored memory, what am I accomplishing?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

by Metrobot 2008-05-28 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe if I had gone to law school

I want my 15 secs. back!!

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe if I had gone to law school

Exactly! now you know how I feel about this post!

by Metrobot 2008-05-29 08:37AM | 0 recs
all this reminds me

of how Edwards was polling better than either Clinton or Obama.

by John DE 2008-05-28 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: all this reminds me

Bingo.

Remember those poll way back when showing Edwards beating all the Republicans by a ton. Especially in Ohio?

John Edwards repeatedly got votes from conservative Democrats in the primary. But he was unable to turn that support to his side for the GE in 2004. Why? Because Democratic primary voters who voted for tended support the Southern white male and not the economic populist. When GE voters saw the economic populist, they said, "Trial Lawyer!" and turned him down.

by elrod 2008-05-28 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: all this reminds me

I looked at the polls and Kerry did better than Edwards in all the polls I could locate in 2004.  Can someone provide the link that he did better than Kerry?  Everyone seems to regurgitate this TP, but I have not seen any documentation.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:47PM | 0 recs
She needs to go away

On a nice trip, a vacation with the family.  What did you think I meant?

No, we can't put any basis in the latest polls.  In a few days when there's one man (read person) standing, the polls will see a nice bounce for Obama.  And even then, those polls will be meaningless this far out.

No, I can't recommend Obama put Clinton on the ticket either.  The reasons have been debated here for months.  My main one, she may help with the election (although I really doubt it) but will make it much more difficult to actually govern.

Lastly, I think there are lots of women who've voted for Hillary just because she's a woman.  That isn't sexist, I think the polls bear that out.  To be fair, there are a lot of African Americans who voted for Obama because he's black.  But the difference is, there are at least as many whites who voted against Obama because he's black as there are African Americans who voted for him for that reason.  I seriously doubt there's anywhere near the number of men out there voting just for Barack because he's male.  

All of these are just my opinions.  If Obama decides to take Hillary on the ticket, I'll certainly support them both.  I expect, also, that once the folks who say they're going to vote for McCain really start thinking about it, rather than just reacting with emotion, they'll come around.  Obama will get Hillary's voters, generally speaking, in the states he needs to get them in.  Right now it may not seem prudent to say that but I have a strong belief in the intelligence of Democrats everywhere.

by SpanishFly 2008-05-28 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: She needs to go away

According to Obamans, to point out that there are (blacks/women/any bloc) who vote for a candidate who shares that trait, that IS race/gender baiting.

well, at least race baiting!

How lucky for Obama!

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Y'know

John Kerry was similarly ahead of George W. Bush in "swing" states during a summer WaPo poll.  What did that mean in the fall?

by Brad G 2008-05-28 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Chuck Todd analyzed Hillary's polling numbers and says she's benefiting from Obama not actively campaigning against her.  He says the same thing has happened in the past, where a candidate who had no chance of winning yet continued to campaign actually started polling better than the presumptive nominee.

Someone over at DKos noted that in 1992 around May, the presumptive nominee Bill Clinton was polling only TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT and losing to both George Bush and Ross Perot.  Like Clinton supporters today, there were democrats back then calling Clinton unelectable and wanted someone else, even though Bill was winning in pledged delegates.  

It's really interesting that this race has a lot of parallels to Clinton's 1992 campaign.

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-28 01:14PM | 0 recs
the poll that matters

Yes Obama has been praising Clinton in every stump speech while she continues to attack Obama and the GOP has been ignoring her and attacking Obama. So no surprise she is polling better then when she was taking some heat.

But to run in the GE you have to first win your party's primary. The numbers that matter are in the voting booth not the polls and in that contest Hillary came in second. You can make up all the scenarios about what an unbeatable candidate she is but the sad fact is she just got beat in a real election. The fact that she comes in first in supporters fantasy elections doesn't matter.

Going into this primary Clinton and Guiliani were unbeatable. Bill Clinton was a distant 3rd behind Bush Sr. and Perot. Polls and punditry sound great until they meet reality.

by hankg 2008-05-28 01:23PM | 0 recs
He has to be UNELECTABLE or her argument

fails. "More" electable in May is meaningless. The supers know this.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-28 01:26PM | 0 recs
President Dukakis

My respones to this is President Dukakis.  Everyone remembers that Gov. Dukakis was up 18 points over George H W Bush in May of 1988.    We all know what happened between May and November of that year.

The truth is that most polls can not be trusted at this point.  It is really not until after the conventions that polls will start to become reliable.

Additionally, All Sen. Clinton has been telling her supporters for 6 months is that only she and Sen. McCain are qualified.    Why wouldn't so many of her supporters be voting Republican?   She is telling them to.

by monkeyga 2008-05-28 01:29PM | 0 recs
President Dukakis

My respones to this is President Dukakis.  Everyone remembers that Gov. Dukakis was up 18 points over George H W Bush in May of 1988.    We all know what happened between May and November of that year.

The truth is that most polls can not be trusted at this point.  It is really not until after the conventions that polls will start to become reliable.

Additionally, All Sen. Clinton has been telling her supporters for 6 months is that only she and Sen. McCain are qualified.    Why wouldn't so many of her supporters be voting Republican?   She is telling them to.

by monkeyga 2008-05-28 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

For god's sake Todd, just stop yourself.

by thelonius 2008-05-28 01:36PM | 0 recs
This can be easily explained

You can easily explain this phenomenon by acknowledging that Clinton's supporters are more "dug in" simply due to her almost-lost status in the race.

It's easy for Obama supporters to be magnanimous and say they'd support Clinton -- doing so doesn't endanger Obama's chances at all.  It's far harder for Clinton supporters to do the same, because improving Obama's numbers would seriously hurt Clinton's chances at the nomination.

Totally explains the results seen here.

by ChrisKaty 2008-05-28 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Clinton gets voters Obama cannot and Democrats lost a long time ago.

In addition, Obamans have beat up on her and her supporters pretty good (which makes one wonder just how effective Obama really is at this change/hope/unity stuff), and her supporters are legitimately and really disconnected from Obama as a result.

The irony, of course, is that obama is supposed to be some kind of uniter and change agent and inspiration end all the division in politics, yet we don't see it.

by Juno 2008-05-28 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Polling shows that the public perception is that Clinton has been far more negative than Obama.  Just look at how Clinton pounced on Obama's "bitter" comment and how Obama supported Clinton in her recent RFK comment -- the difference is night and day.

Regardless, your comments don't really refute my point -- Clinton supporters are more dug in, and are less likely currently to say they'll support Obama, even if they ultimately would.  That fully explains the polling that Todd is seeing.

by ChrisKaty 2008-05-28 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Kerry was a lot more civil than Bush.

All evidence is that Americans say one thing but do another when it comes to negative politics.

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Besides, Clinton has been treated far worse than has Obama.  Obama has been the darling of the media and has had surrogates to do his kneecapping for him a la Bush.

I prefer a candidate who has the balls and integrity to do her own fighting.

by Juno 2008-05-28 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Clinton gets voters Obama cannot - mostly non-college educated whites in Appalachia. I concede that. Hillary would put WV and KY in play. Obama cannot.

But Obama gets voters Clinton cannot - mostly better educated Independents in the West and in the Mid-Atlantic.  Obama puts CO and VA in play. Clinton cannot win those states as she is deeply disliked among educated northern Virginians and among libertarian-minded "sagebrush" voters in Colorado.

In the end it's a wash.

But Clinton appears stronger only because many Clinton voters are angry that their choice has lost and are not willing to support the nominee yet. Note that the crossover to McCain is actually not much higher than the GOP crossover to Obama. The difference is the undecideds; Clinton Democrats will not likely go to McCain. But they may stay home. That's where Obama needs to work right now.

by elrod 2008-05-28 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

No its not.  Unless you think WV, KY, NC, NH, MI, Ark, and Fl are equal to CO and VA.  They both could pick up a few more states than the other, but she is leading in many more that delegate rich.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

She doesn't outdo him in Michigan or New Hampshire. NC is unknown because of a bizarre SUSA poll there that contradicted every other poll.

She obviously does much better in KY, WV and AR.

She does better in FL too, but he is still competitive there even though he has just started to compete in the state.

by elrod 2008-05-28 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

"She doesn't outdo him in Michigan or New Hampshire."

Uh?

Rasmussen 05/21 - 05/21 500 LV 41 51 Clinton +10.0

Rasmussen 05/21 - 05/21 500 LV 43 48 Obama +5.0

There was one tracking poll before and one during the Wright Nat. Press Q & A, both had McCain beat both candidates by approx. the same numbers.

In terms of Michigan that is only true if you count the polls before Wright, after Wright, Clinton has done better and sometimes has small leads, but Obama has not lead in Michigan since Wright.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/latestpolls/index.html

by mdana 2008-05-29 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: This can be easily explained

Its Bush from 2000.  Don't worry just like then Obama will not be anything like his his internet thugs and he will govern as a uniter not a divider, not interested in nation building.

by mdana 2008-05-28 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Too bad we can't take a snapshot of these polls and travel in time to November and win the election.

First of all, I see the better numbers Clinton enjoys in some states and nationally (sometimes) as a result of the heat being taken off her and put on Obama as far as vetting, gaffes, etc, goes. McCain and Republican attacks are trained solely on Obama, at the same time Clinton is hitting him. But let's assume these numbers hold up when the spotlight turns back on Clinton.

Let's think about what happens to get Clinton the nomination.

Overrule the pledged delegate leader for the first time in recent history, not to mention first AA candidate and the guy who has brought so many new voters into the process. I understand Clinton supporters will be unhappy when Obama clinches the nomination, but at least that outcome is (largely) expected at this point. Can you imagine the uproar when the supers hand the nomination to Clinton?

AA voters are crucial to Dem victory in many states. Imagine those people staying home or voting for the Green party in large numbers and you have the makings of a McCain blowout. Imagine the young voters that were drawn into the party staying home or voting Nader in protest.

If you expect the numbers Clinton currently enjoys to hold up then, you are dreaming.

by animated 2008-05-28 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I really don't understand why we are having this kind of exercise right now. When Obama is selected as the party's candidate we can compare Clinton's attributes and detriments to all the other possible Candidates and make these arguments then. I'm sure Obama will be happy for all progressives to make their suggestions so he can choose the very best VP for the general. I worry about Todd is that you are being part of a concerted effort to pressure Obama into giving Hillary the spot and denying him the ability to weigh all his options. And if it is you purpose it is outrageous on it face and totally unacceptable!

by eddieb 2008-05-28 01:47PM | 0 recs
Why do we even bother with primaries?

Why don't we just scrap the primaries altogether, then take a poll in June and then the candidate who performs strongest against the Republican is the nominee?

ridiculous

by Saintcog 2008-05-28 01:50PM | 0 recs
Why even do that?

Since Hillary supporters won't vote for Obama even though he is winning the primary election by the rules, we should just give her the nomination.  Oh yeah, we should just seat FL and MI in full too.  Fuck the rules, there is no accountability in politics, Bush/Iraq, Bill/Sex, Reagan/Iran weapons... oh yeah, HRC/AUMF/Tuzla/NAFTA/Penn/Her own words: "...this will not count"

by KLRinLA 2008-05-28 03:11PM | 0 recs
As long she remains in the race, and her fans

get polled, of course they'd say she's more electable than John McCain. This is nothing more than a fit of pique from angry Clinton supporters when polled. If she dropped out, you would see Democratic support in Obama rise.

by slinkerwink 2008-05-28 01:51PM | 0 recs
Is she running for Pres or VP?

I'm not sure exactly what's going on here anymore. Clinton is "in it to win," sending protesters to bug the DNC, fighting hard against Obama... but a ton of her most vocal supporters won't shut up about her as VP.

Here's an honest question: do you honestly think Obama/Clinton would win the Appalachian vote? Because I'm thinking that Obama's race and negative perceptions of him (many of them stoked by Clinton in the primary) will send a lot of those voters to McCain, no matter WHO his VP choice is.

In any case, I don't buy the pressure. If Clinton has lost the primary, she should drop out, stop attacking Obama, and THEN ask for the VP slot. Maybe travel back in time and do that in March or April to save a lot of wasted time and money.

by ZombieRoboNinja 2008-05-28 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Hillary is going through the Bill Bradley effect. He got more in the polls, the sooner Gore pulled away from him.

by MissVA 2008-05-28 02:01PM | 0 recs
i just dont see it

not Sen Clinton... there are other choices

by FLS 2008-05-28 02:19PM | 0 recs
The funny thing is...

we're no longer asking ourselves whether Hillary's arguments for the nomination are better than Obama's, but just whether they're logical or not.  So here we have Todd Beeton telling us that this argument is somewhat logical, which it is.  But it still does not overcome a loss in pledged delegates or the almost inevitable now loss in the majority of ALL delegates.  

by nklein 2008-05-28 02:20PM | 0 recs
I will just re-confirm

my belief that I have held since day one that there is no doubt in my mind Clinton would destory McCain.

I just believe Obama will as well.

I believe my dog would as well.

I believe Sadddam Husseins corpse would as well.

But seriously, I have never doubted Clinton would win.  The dynamic has been known for a long time.

Clinton has a smaller but more traditional map.  In that traditional map she has, generally, deeper support than Obama.  This map is safer I think for taking the white house.  And I think it is Hillarys best argument to the supers.

Obama on the other hand has a much bigger potential map, but his support in that larger map is shallower.  Obama's map has more traditional risk to it than Clintons.

Both have little margin for error.  Clinton loses one state and she done.  Obama doesnt succeed in the west and hes done.

Both Obama and Clinton will handily win the the tried and true dem states, from there its interesting.

Why do I prefer Obama then?  Well, first, AUMF, but if it were Clinton who prevails, so be it, she gets my vote.  But also, I believe now is the democrats time to strike for a big hit.  The repulican party is in disarray and Obama has a real chance to really expand the map.  He is an inspiring candidate which is what you need to do this.  McCain is as inspiring as a full kitty litter box.  So I say 'lets go for it, this is the time'.

My problem with Clintons safer map is 'its more of the same'.  It keeps us pegged in the same places we have always been and doesnt broaden our base.

That said, whatever.  Either will destroy McCain and Hillary is very right to show and argue her electoral strength.  Its better than any of the other junk she throws out there, in my opinion, and its something Obama could not deny.

by pattonbt 2008-05-28 02:24PM | 0 recs
Chuck Todd is correct. Historically, losing

candidates poll better because the nominee has stopped campaigning against his/her former rival and starts to go after the general election opponent.  You can check polling data for the past twenty years and it reflects that fact.

by mishiem 2008-05-28 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Chuck Todd is correct. Historically, losing

Can you show me the data? I believe the opposite is true. When someone is announced by the media as the certain nominee the voters line up behind them, as we saw with Mccain, Kerry and other recent primaries.

And I wouldn't take MSNBC's word on anything to do with Obama for obvious reasons.

by zebedee 2008-05-28 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

iso: President Perot

by mefeck 2008-05-28 03:14PM | 0 recs
Come on, Todd

If you're going to make a front-page post on this, please make it a little more substantive. To not mention Paul Maslin's or Paul Lukasiak's recent detailed non-poll-based electoral map analyses or Hominid Views' Monte Carlo simulations, is well...lazy and leads to the kind of superficial discussion you see in many of the posts above.  As one of the few serious commenters mentioned above, even Obama supporter Poblano is showing Clinton besting Obama in the GE.  

Taken together, these studies are grim reading, whether you are for Obama or not. Considering that the superdelegates and the GE are hanging in the balance and that some Republicans are actually contemplating a blowout, I would ask that you look at all of them and offer us some conclusions of your own.

(Sorry about no links.  Lukasiak and Maslin can be found via Corrente. Hominid's got his own site. Poblano's over on kos)

by desert dawg 2008-05-28 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Obama/Webb

by Bush Bites 2008-05-28 04:24PM | 0 recs
What will Hillary's GE strength be after Denver?

The problem with this argument is obvious on it's face.

Sure maybe Hillary is polling stronger right now.  But who cares?

There are three possible paths:

  1. Obama locks up nomination in next couple weeks
  2. Hillary forces floor fight in Denver and Obama still gets nomination
  3. Hillary forces floor fight in Denver and Hillary gets the nomination

Which of these paths gives the best chances for a Democratic victory in November?  And why?

by jello5929 2008-05-28 04:24PM | 0 recs
It's about the undecideds

In almost every poll Hillary Clinton does better among Democrats than Barack Obama. In most polls Obama does better among Independents. But what's interesting is that Barack Obama tends to poach about as many Republicans from McCain as McCain poaches Democrats from Obama. The difference is usually just a few points in McCain's favor.

What makes the difference much more acute is the undecided Democrats. In the latest SUSA poll of Ohio, for example, southeast Ohio showed McCain with a mere 3-point advantage. SE Ohio is Appalachian but strongly Democratic. Voters there loved Hillary Clinton. But that doesn't mean they will vote for McCain over Obama. They are mostly undecided. Barack Obama has an opportunity to win those voters over, but he will have to work at it.

Disaffected Hillary supporters are not jumping to McCain. They are undecided - and angry - at the way the campaign has unfolded. It is up to EVERYBODY - including BOTH Obama and Clinton - to pull those Clinton voters back into the fold. If that happens - and it should - Obama will be well ahead of McCain.

by elrod 2008-05-28 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I think both ideas are correct.

In a vacuum where the other wasn't running, I think Clinton has slightly better chance to win the General Election.

I think her numbers now are being inflated by her status as a non-threatening psuedo-candidate who has no chance to win.

by KyleJRM 2008-05-28 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

your ratings abuse has been reported

by zerosumgame 2008-05-29 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You got nothin' on me, net copper.

by KyleJRM 2008-05-29 04:24PM | 0 recs
Hillary will not beat McCain

Because she won't get the nomination.

Now the question is will Obama beat McCain if the Democratic party divides over the Obama's nomination and Obama's running mate selection, which in all probability won't be Hillary?

Clinton supporters will have to answer that.

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-05-28 04:51PM | 0 recs
Novak: McCain Would Win Today

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-28 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I cannot buy Chuck Todd's theory that because Obama and McCain has been going at it, Clinton has remained unscathed. Clinton's favorable rating has been the exact same since January. McCain's has been the same. Obama's has taken a toll, but remains the same since the March 4 primaries.

by RJEvans 2008-05-28 05:52PM | 0 recs
Polls 6 months out
It would be really interesting to see what the polls were 6 months ago as to who was the likely winner of the Democratic nomination.
I think that would show how really unreliable these polls are. And how fortunes change.
by danfromny 2008-05-28 06:01PM | 0 recs
Still gotta disagree

with putting Clinton on the ticket. For a few reasons.

1: Just because she performs stronger than he does in some states doesn't mean having her on the ticket will strengthen HIM in these states. Very rarely does the VP pick improve the standing of the candidate.

2: The negatives of a VP pick DO impact the candidate.

3: These two candidates, while near-identical in policy, have significant differences in the way they wish to go about these policies. We're talking oil and water.

4: A pres. and VP need to trust each other implicitly. I don't see that happening with Obama and Clinton.

5: What do they do with Bill? The man's had a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease for a while now. I believe Clinton supporters can agree with me on this.

6: I don't see Clinton sitting quietly and taking a backseat to someone else's agenda yet again. And she would have to.

7: What does Obama do with her staff? Again, I believe Clinton supporters can agree with me that they've been a mess. How does someone like Carville become part of an Obama administration that he has said would be a disaster? I believe we can all agree that, whatever faults Obama has, he has put together one HELL of a campaign team that has managed the near-impossible.

8: Clinton would be much stronger in the Senate, could write her own agenda, and could REALLY make some waves there, majority leader isn't out of the question. And since when was a Senate something to sneeze at?

9: Most of the gains can be had if Clinton campaigns HARD for Obama, with few of the negatives.

Back when I thought Clinton was going to be the nominee, I thought the same thing about Obama. They just don't mix all that well. I believe they would be much more effective working in different ways towards the same goal than being together on the same ticket and clashing with one another.

In the midst of all this stuff, we've got to be looking at what's best for the country. Personally, I believe that to be Obama in the White House inspiring the nation, healing the rifts and setting the tone, and Clinton in the Senate, busting heads to make DAMN sure the agenda doesn't get derailed by petty garbage.

by EvilAsh 2008-05-28 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Still gotta disagree

>2: The negatives of a VP pick DO impact the candidate.

You are right there. But if Hillary has so many negatives, why does she do so well in national GE polling? In somes states dramatically better than Obama.

I've yet to see anyone explain that.

And for all her supposed negatives, she's still winning primaries.

I do think they could mix. They would both need to put aside their egos for the good of the country and party.

by carrieboberry 2008-05-29 03:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Still gotta disagree

>But if Hillary has so many negatives, why does she do so well in national GE polling? In somes states dramatically better than Obama.

I've never believed that Hillary's negatives made her 'unelectable' as the pundits like to say. She does run very strongly and has a LOT of appeal (obviously). A LOT of people have been supporting and defending her for two decades, a lot of people support her because she's a woman, a lot of people support her because they have a lot of respect for Bill (the 'two for the price of one' voters) a lot of people support her because she's safe (they're sure she won't be a disaster), they support her because they know she's smart as hell and is ready and willing to kick republicans in the teeth.

This adds up to a lot of people. About half the country, in fact. But it's also true that a LOT of people have a deep and sincere HATRED of Hillary. They see her as unethical, dishonest, possibly a criminal, possibly a murderer. They see her as a power-hungry megalomaniac who will do and say ANYTHING for her own self-aggrandizement.

This is a pretty big number, too, but not as high as the Hillary supporters (hence her strong polling).

People throw around the word 'divisive' WAY too often. But, in the purest sense of the word, Hillary is a divisive figure in that a majority of people either absolutely LOVE her or absolutely HATE her. This primary campaign have increased that division between the lovers and the haters.

The problem with putting her on the ticket is that it is not at all a given that her strengths will translate into support for Obama. However, it is much more likely that her weaknesses will be used to drag her down. (So, the Hillary lovers might not be convinced, but the Hillary haters WILL be and will stay away.)
Personally, I believe that MOST of the positives from her as VP can be achieved by her vigorously campaigning for him, while avoiding the negatives.

I've always been of the opinion that we have two VERY different and VERY strong candidates running for president. Rather than diluting the message of either by attempting the 'best of both worlds' ticket, I believe we should go full bore one way or the other (Either do things Obama's way or do them Clinton's way).

So, let Clinton do her own thing in her own way in the Senate instead of forcing her into a unfamiliar and uncomfortable style and approach as part of the Obama ticket.

by EvilAsh 2008-05-31 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

The key to Democratic presidential victory is not whether HRC is also on the ticket if BHO is the nominee, but whether she will campaign as hard for BHO in her stong states as she did for herself.  The reverse holds true for BHO if HRC is the nominee. Is the goal personal victory at all costs or party victory for all? IOW - Is it "all for one and one for all" - or "it's all about me"?

by truth b told 2008-05-28 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Holy moly.

This election was a lock from the start.

We know Obama's going to win Montana and South Dakota.

We know Hillary's going to win Puerto Rico.  By how much is questionable, but I think everybody agrees at least 10 points.

The Obama campaign had this nailed almost from the start.  Just Google "Obama campaign spreadsheet" and you can see that they predicted every state correctly, except, I believe Pennsylvania.  They thought they were going to win that by 5 points.  Still, amazing analytical skills were at work there.

With such insight available beforehand, no wonder Obama (and his supporters) have been so confident throughout this campaign.

There was no "momentum" at all, and that drove the pundits WILD.  There was no change to be had.  No "game changers."  Even the Rev. Wright kerfuffle turned out to be a dud.  The pundits HATE IT when they turn out to be so wrong (read: impotent).

So, Obama's going to win.  He's going to have more pledged delegates, more supers, more states, and (most likely) a lead in the popular vote.  And will win in the general election.

The Obama campaign had it nailed from the start.  I think we should listen to them.  They proved that they can make some pretty accurate predictions.

by Reluctantpopstar 2008-05-28 10:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

Why dont you get your girl to win the playoffs before you crown her superbowl champ.

last time I checked losing is still losing.

by goalie40 2008-05-28 10:25PM | 0 recs
Obama was outperforming Hillary

in head-to-head general election matchups against Republicans until March.  What happened then?  A couple of things.  The tone of the Clinton campaign against Obama became more negative.  (You may feel Obama is/was negative, too, but that's irrelevant to this point).  

Also, Fox News suddenly became enamored with Hillary Clinton.  They have been giving her the best press of her life on Fox, the last couple of months.  Where before they were beating up on Hillary, they suddenly changed to beating up on Obama and complimenting Hillary for her feistiness.  

The result is that Hillary, who did very poorly as a candidate when she was inevitable, suddenly became more attractive to some voters (and I am going to guess, mostly moderate to conservative voters) when Obama became seen as the likely or inevitable Democratic candidate.

In the same vein, I'm very impressed and surprised the polls showing Hillary beating McCain in KENTUCKY!  This is the first time we have seen this.  This might be the first time we have seen a Democrat leading in a general election presidential poll in recent memory, and might be the last time.  But I still can't take it all that seriously.  While Hillary was running a "hard working white voters" campaign this month, she performed very well.  But she is running against an African-American, and one who is reputed by Fox News to be a crypto-Islamofascist-Manchurian-Candidat e.  Although some voters in Kentucky may be attracted to her while she is beating up on Obama, without Obama in the picture, her luster may fade.  I don't think the Kentucky number would hold up for her in November.

The fact is, we won't get anything close to a real idea of where the battleground states are going to be until the battle for the nomination is settled -- and by that, I mean a concession by the losing candidate, whomever you think that may be [Hillary].  Until then, this is all just self-justifying masturbation.

by Dumbo 2008-05-28 11:22PM | 0 recs
Buyer's remorse

I think that some of this could be down to buyer's remorse. Seems that often people tend to prefer a candidate who is not on the ballot to one who is -- when polled. This is just my kooky idea, so maybe it wouldn't be supported by the evidence. The fact that Obama leads Clinton in Democratic nomination preference polls would seem to contradict this idea.

I for one am not suffering from buyer's remorse. I support Clinton and think she would be the better President. At this stage I think she has a less than 1% chance of being the nominee. Even less than 1% is probably generous.

I don't have a very good track record when it comes to backing the successful Democrat. Dean 2004, Gore 2000 (who actually did win both the nomination and the presidency), Harkin 1992.

My best hope is that Clinton would be the VP nominee. If she's not the nominee for the top spot, I think that VP would be the best option for the party and the country.

by carrieboberry 2008-05-29 03:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

You write, "Chuck Todd's theory is that because McCain and Obama have been trading barbs lately, their negatives are driving up, allowing Clinton to skate unscathed. That's a pretty difficult theory to stick to, it seems to me, after the last several days, but it might have some merit."

Why is that a difficult theory?  I think we forget that most Americans are not reading left-leaning media which continues to critique HRC.  The majority of Americans receive their news via local news, cable news, and newspaper headlines.  In this venue, the story has been Obama v McCain, Obama not being able to win the last few primaries, and HRC occupying the brazenly false and itismydd's responsibility to debunk position as civil rights crusader in FL and MI.  Most importantly, both HRC and JM have painted Obama as liberal and this has cost him the centrist electorate.  

Unless we had a meaningful way to test the flip side- i.e. HRC is the presumed nominee, but Obama was still making his case, the g.e. speculations are specious. They are not based in any historical precedent and following the speculation once again emphasizes a cynical political calculation rather than a positive vote for the most worthy, not the most electable, president.

I think it's strange that a candidates platform for election is, I'm electable.  Vote for her because you think she'd be the best president, but put aside the false promise of g.e. predictions.

by chrispy 2008-05-29 03:51AM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton's General Election Strength

I think when you send a letter to supers saying you can win and cite Karl Rove's electoral maps as proof, you're in trouble.

by venavena 2008-05-29 09:45AM | 0 recs

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